Seven Elkins High School singers named to State Chorus

ELKINS – Randolph County will be well-represented this year in the 2014 West Virginia All State Chorus. Seven local students, all members of the Elkins High School Vocal Ensemble, have earned spots in the 200-member chorus.

Members selected from the auditions, held in Fairmont earlier in March, are Brooke Hinzman, Brian Cox, Mikayla Markley, Glenn Smakula, Cheyenne Carter, Christian Currence and Catherine Brake.

Brooke Hinzman, a junior, is the daughter of Pamela and Fred Hinzman.

“Being selected as part of the West Virginia All State Chorus is great,” Hinzman said. “It took lots of practice, but it is worth it. I can’t wait to attend.”

Brooke has been a dancer with Center State for 12 years and was the 2012 dancer of the year. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the German Honor Society. She is in the Beverly United Methodist Group.

Brian Cox, a junior, is the son of Dr. Kevin and Kilsong Cox.

“I have worked harder at this than any sporting event I have ever participated in,” Brian said. “I have been encouraged to be the best I can be, and I am happy to be given this chance and am taking advantage of the opportunity.”

Brian is a member of the U.S. Chess Federation, the Elkins High School Marching Band and the Old Brick Playhouse Apprentices, and a volunteer with the PGA Tour.

Cheyenne Carter is the daughter of D’Arcy and Linda Carter and is a junior.

“Music is my passion and it takes lots of practice and discipline,” Cheyenne said. “I am honored to have this opportunity and want to thank Miss Liz (Marshall MacVean, the ensemble director).”

Cheyenne studies at Augusta, has played piano for eight years, is a member of the Old Brick Playhouse Apprentices and has helped with Lab Band at the Randolph County Community Arts Center.

Christian Currence is a sophomore and is the son of Tommy and Melissa Currence.

“For me it’s an experience and an opportunity to improve,” Christian said. “When I came to the music program, I could not pitch, but it finally clicked. My singing is getting better in general and it will help me in my career.”

Christian plans to major in zoology and theater and minor in culinary arts. He is a member of the Upward Bound Program and the cooking club.

Catherine Brake is the daughter of Timothy and Edie Brake and is a junior.

“I am honored to have been selected to be in the All State Choir this year,” Catherine said. “I attended when I was in fifth grade. I am glad to go and sing and meet more people like me.”

Catherine is a member of the Old Brick Playhouse Apprentice Program. She serves as a teen aid mentor at Montessori, is a member of the GSA club, attended the Governor’s School for the Arts and recently auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice.”

Junior Glenn Smakula is the son of Mary and Bob Smakula.

“I have improved my singing,” Glenn said. “At first, Miss Liz was taking a risk on me, but I have come miles.”

Glenn is a member of the Davy Jones Evidence Locker Pirate Band, and plays the accordion and banjo ukulele. He is a member of the Old Brick Apprentices and the RCCAC Lab Band, and is a musician at St. Brendan Parish. He attended the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Mikayla Markley is the daughter of Randy and Jenny Markley and is a senior at Elkins High School.

“It’s an honor to be selected for All-State Chorus,” Mikayla said. “I was part of the fifth grade All State Choir at Midland Elementary School.”

Mikayla is a four-year vocal ensemble student, drum major of the Elkins High School Marching Band, a member of the Old Brick Playhouse Apprentices and is a 13-year Girl Scout member. She plays baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone and alto saxophone.

Mikayla has already been accepted at Shepherd University for the musical theater program and plans to join band.

“Being with Miss Liz has taught me to be a better singer,” Markley said. “I got into the Shepherd program with the help of what she has taught me. I am so glad my mother talked me into joining the choral ensemble.”

The chorus will perform at the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center at Wheeling Park High School at 1:45 p.m. on March 22. The event is in conjunction with the West Virginia Music Educators National Conference.

Marshall MacVean is the immediate past president of the West Virginia Music Educators and will be presenting a lecture during the conference.

“I will present choral chemistry and techniques,” Marshall MacVean said.

The guest conductor for the 2014 West Virginia All State Chorus is John Hurty. Sections for the event include “Consecrate the Place and Day,” Cantique de Jean Racine,” “In Remembrance,” “Desh” and “Ezekiel Saw De Wheel.”