NC’s All-County High School Chorus Program provides student singers an unforgettable experience


Photo contributed by chorus teacher Beverly Alt.

Northwest’s All-County Chorus participants pose for a group photo. All-County took place in October.

All-County Chorus is a learning experience that helps student singers hone in on the choral skills they can improve upon. The process is time-consuming, but according to its participants, well worth the effort.

“We begin preparing with a scale. At the end of the year (before), we audition to get into a certain class, and then that determines whether we go into All-County or All-State,” sophomore Mady Pagonis said.

Participants audition with a few different pieces, such as a scale run and a previously learned choral piece. 

“You either have to be in honors vocal ensemble, or SSA. These are the only two groups (Northwest chorus teacher Beverly) Alt allows to go to All-County,” sophomore Y’Josue Mlo said. 

All-County ran from Oct. 1 to 18.

“I did a piece that we used during our spring concert. It was a group piece, so I just chose a solo section out of it, and I sang that to our director,” Pagonis said. 

Preparation for all county lasted three weeks.

More people should try chorus. It’s a fun experience.”

— Y'Josue Mlo

Organization for the chorus classes is simple. 

“We have sections for SSA, soprano, soprano, and alto, which is a women’s choir. We have a group of 19 altos. It’s sort of blocked off. Then there are soprano twos and soprano ones,” Pagonis said. 

Both Mlo and Pagonis had Alt’s support, as well.

“She had us work on it during class, and then she sent out a piano recording of it, and then had us go out into the hall and look at the music as she was playing it, then we would start singing it,” Pagonis said. 

The All-County Chorus meeting was overall a welcoming and positive experience.

“All-County was really fun. Everybody there was just really nice,” Mlo said.  “You kind of just become friends with each other. It doesn’t feel awkward. We all shared the same experience.” 

Even the staff working during the event were helpful. 

 “I had a very lively director and she interacted with us. We learned, but we also joked around,” Pagonis said. 

“Dr Franklin was really funny, but he also got things done. He knows how to get a choir together properly,” Mlo added. 

Other participants outside of Northwest were also kind. Every participant supported each other and helped each other grow. 

“Honestly, it was like a whole family put together,” Pagonis said. 

Some people in chorus may be nervous to audition, but overall, Pagonis and Mlo encourage others to give it a chance.

“Just shoot your shot, even if you don’t have the courage to do it. It won’t affect you negatively,” Pagonis said. 

“Just do it; if you don’t get in, you can try next year. Yes, you can be nervous, but you should just try and do it. It will be a good experience,” Mlo added. “More people should try chorus. It’s a fun experience. I was afraid because I play sports and I would be seen as soft. In the end, chorus helped me with other classes.”