Bowers students part of honor choir

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By Damon Lawrence

Elizabeth Rueff and Larissa Langley said they like singing in groups.

That should put the two Bowers Elementary School students right in their comfort zone when they visit Chattanooga this spring.

The Harriman students are part of the Tennessee Treble Honor Choir, which is made up of 130 to 150 fifth- and sixth-graders from around the state.

 “We're just really proud of the students for not only making Treble Honor Choir, but for attempting,” Bowers Principal Candace Lett said. “It will be great for our kids to experience music at a greater level than just at our school level. To experience it on the state level will be a great learning experience for them.”

The choir will perform for the Tennessee Music Educator’s National Conference in Chattanooga on April 12 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

“They will go and practice with this whole group,” Lett said. “It's wonderful. Then they'll have this big concert.”

Elizabeth said her worries about singing too high or too low tends to disappear when she’s in a group.

Larissa said she doesn’t get as nervous when she’s singing with a group.

“You know not everybody is just looking at you, and it sounds better because you have all these different types of voices,” she said.

To make the choir, Elizabeth and Larissa had to audition by singing “America” in two keys. Joyce Dickerson, the music specialist at Bowers, recorded their voices on a CD and sent them to the choir.

Elizabeth and Larissa, both fifth-graders, found out they made it shortly before Christmas.

“I was like, 'Oh my gosh. I made it,'” Larissa said.

Elizabeth said she had a stunned reaction as well.

“I couldn't believe it,” she said. “I didn't think I would get in it. I just really wanted to try for it.”

Elizabeth said she made that decision when she was in fourth grade.

“It sounded interesting, so I decided this year I would try for it,” she said.

Larissa said her sister was in the choir before, which motivated her to try out for it.

“I was afraid that if I didn't get it, I'd feel bad and my sister would make fun of me,” she said. “We didn't even tell my sister I was doing it.”

Elizabeth and Larissa are in the school chorus at Bowers. Both are fond of country music star Taylor Swift, but for different reasons.

“I like that she sings about what her troubles are,” Larissa said.

“I spend my time with my mother,” Elizabeth said. “All she likes is country, so I hear Taylor Swift all the time.”

In addition to singing and listening to music, Larissa said she likes to play basketball and softball. Elizabeth said she likes to play softball and kickball.