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Soon soft strains of holiday music will fill Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport.
Among them will be the voices of children in the Midtown Elementary School Choir, who will sing from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
The choir, in its second year, is excited about the opportunity to play for strangers, although members have sung for residents of an assisted-living facility and more recently, for the school’s Veterans’ Day program.
Student Sara Gunter looks at it this way: “I like to meet new people every day.”
Hunter Jones has another take on the situation:
He loves to watch the aircraft come and go.
“This time,” he said, “we’re going to be up close to watch them land.”
Their instructor, Beth Trescher, left an engineering career to teach.
If anyone is in tune to following life’s passions, it may be her.
“I just got tired of working really hard to make somebody else profitable. If I’m going to work really hard, I’m going to invest in them — not some corporation,” she said. “I make quite a bit less money, but the rewards are greater.”
“It’s a good group,” Trescher added.
Trescher said the opportunity to perform in public serves two purposes.
It allows the community to know what is going on in the schools, and it gives students a sense of pride.
Not only do they share their talent, but students must keep their grades up to go on public outings.
The airport is a day outing where the students get the treat of leaving school.
“It is an accomplishment more so than just singing,” Trescher said.
Trescher learned of the opportunity to perform by student teaching with another teacher who took her students.
This year, Trescher was the first to call the airport and got her pick of when to bring the students to perform.
They all are working hard to make the most of it.
She beamed recently as she listened to the children practice.
“Beautiful,” Trescher said. “I think that was the best you’ve ever done.”
Many after-school programs are merely a safe harbor for students who have working parents, but the students in choir genuinely appear to enjoy it.
“I just like to sing,” said Tatiana Rabideau.
Skye Clemmons sings in talent shows and anywhere she gets the chance.
“I sing my heart out in the back of the car every day,” she said.
Choir members are: Sara Gunter, Ashleigh Robertson, Lyra Malenovsky, Brooke Jones, Skye Clemmons, Phoebe Hastings, Ivana Frady, Willow Jones, Kelsie Reed, Anna Cox, Samuel Garland, Hunter Mason, Hunter Jones, Destiny Hastings, Elizabeth Proctor, Nobelea Smith, Alena Smith, Josh Freels, Patrick Haynes, Alijah Goldberg, Breanna Letner, Sara Pistole, Charisma Nelson, Brooklyn Robinson, Alissa Thompson, Mariah Goldberg, Serena Stewart, Erika Jenkins and Tatiana Rabideu.
Children can sign up to be in choir next semester.