Submitted by The Rochester School District
Praises are being sung for two Rochester School District (RSD) choir students by the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA). The girls have received top honors by being selected to participate in WMEA All-State choirs.
Grand Mound Elementary School’s (GMES) Jayden White will participate in the Youth Honor Chorus. She is in 5th grade and sings Soprano. Jayden will be joining 570 other outstanding young performers in bands, choirs and orchestra. Nearly 1,800 students auditioned for the opportunity. They will gather on February 13 in Yakima, WA. “Singing makes me feel powerful,” shared Jayden, who previously has been chosen for other solo honors in her community.
Mariah Nelson, a freshman at Rochester High School (RHS) who sings Alto 2, was selected for WMEA’s High School All-State Choir. On February 10-14 in Yakima, she will join 1,030 musicians in band, choir and orchestra who were chosen from 2,559 who auditioned. Mariah has been selected two other times to participate in honor choirs. In addition to voice, Mariah is teaching herself to play the guitar and looks forward to drum lessons in the future. She is considering pursuing music in college.
Both young women were selected through auditions after the opportunity was shared with them by their school music teacher, Mrs. Julia Gaul. The audition process is quite difficult requiring different rhythm reading, scales, echo patterns and ear training as well as a solo performance,” said Gaul. “I am extremely proud of the hard work these girls have put forth to not only participate in this opportunity, but in making themselves better musicians and vocalists.”
Studies show students who participate in the arts perform better in school and life. Learning through the arts — including visual, dance, music and theatre — contributes to the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, imagination and creativity. Art can bring every academic subject to life and enhance student engagement, as well as improve student learning in all subjects.
Gaul, who is the Choral Director at RSH and Music Specialist at GMES, also shared that another 12 RSD students in 4th and 5th grade will participant in a regional honor choir in Longview. That event is sponsored by the Southwest Washington chapter of WMEA.
Rochester School District provides rigorous academic programs to more 2,200 students, preparing them for lifelong learning, rewarding careers and productive citizenship. The district’s students and staff have received numerous state awards, including being named a 2013 and 2014 Washington State “School of Distinction.”