By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Everyone sings at school choir festival

“Five, four, three, two, one,” they sang, starting high and ending low. Then, beginning one note higher, they sang it again, “five, four, three, two, one.”

Warming up is important, not just for the vocal chords, but for every muscle, Pederson told the crowd, which included singers from every elementary school, both middle schools and the high school. They’d gathered for the annual district choir celebration.

“Reach up!” Pederson called. “Now twist. Stretch to the left. Stretch to the right. Roll your shoulders.

“You body is your instrument. It needs to be warmed up.”

Voices ready, singers took the stage choir by choir — Newby, Sue Buel, Grandhaven, Mac High’s Sterling Jazz, Columbus, Memorial, Wascher, a Patton/Duniway combo, the MHS Symphonic Choir and the Twilighters. They sang for each other, not to show which group was best, but to share the joy of music.

The event brought back memories for Emily Lucas, a McMinnville High School junior.

She sang at the district choir festival when she was a member of the Newby Elementary School after-school choir. Then a fourth- or fifth-grader, she was extremely excited to visit the high school and hear older, more experienced vocalists.

“I thought the Twilighters were amazing, and that being in the group would be the coolest thing in the world,” she recalled.

It turns out she was right.

She’s now a Twilighter, as well as a member of the Symphonic Choir. She loves being in both groups and singing a variety of music, from jazz to classical.

“I always liked music,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a big part of my life.”

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