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Wake County choirs hit the big stage Monday in nation's capital

Posted February 20, 2012
Updated February 21, 2012

— Three high school choirs from Wake County and one well-known "American Idol" performed in Washington, D.C. Monday as part of the National President's Day Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

Singers from Athens Drive, Leesville Road and Garner high schools were among six choirs in the country chosen to perform at the festival. They took center stage at 2 p.m. Monday. 

Scotty McCreery joined Garner's vocal ensemble for Monday's performance.

For the 35 singers from Athens Drive who went through intense auditions to become part of the school's premier vocal ensemble, Monday's performance was a chance to show off several months of hard work. 

"These students are the cream of the crop and they're the top here at Athens Drive," choral teacher Joy Clayton said. "It's an incredible opportunity for them to grow."

Since October, ensembles from all six performing choirs have been practicing the songs they planned to sing for President Barack Obama Monday. The choirs from Wake County sent videos of their works to be chosen for the festival. 

"Our choral departments from Wake County, we must be getting something right," Athens Drive sophomore Matthew Washington said. 

Wake County choirs hit the big stage in nation's capital Wake County choirs hit the big stage in nation's capital

Athens Drive senior Mande Monchick said the fact that three schools from Wake County all get to attend Monday's festival will make performance more memorable. 

"Not many people can say they've performed at the Kennedy Center," she said. "It's a great opportunity, but it makes it even better we get to do it with Garner and Leesville."

The students are also getting to do some sightseeing during their trip to the nation's capital. 


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  • melissa16 Feb 20, 2012

    Leesville has had a fabulous choral program for the past 17 years. Kudos to all three choirs for this outstanding achievement.

  • dogluv3r Feb 20, 2012

    Seriously djofraleigh??? So, what? they couldn't sing when it was a republican board?
    Congratulations students and choir directors for your hard work and true talent. We are all very proud of you! Show them how it's done it Wake Co!

  • djofraleigh Feb 20, 2012

    Applause for the schools!

    Now that the democratic party majority is back in control of the Wake County School Board we can see that WCPSS has gone from being the laughing stock of the nation to being the great shining light on a hill again. Amazing what a day at the polls can accomplish even when nothing else changes.

  • wdwbmw Feb 20, 2012

    Is this being televised anywhere?

  • westernwake1 Feb 20, 2012

    This is awesome! Congrats to the choirs.

  • XLAW Feb 20, 2012

    Three of the six national choirs are from Wake County - but even stranger is the fact that all three choir directors are related! We have a mother, Leesville, her daughter, Garner, and the mother-in-law, Athens. Thankgiving must be fun! Congratulations to all and to Wake County Arts Administration for the support.

  • JustMeHere Feb 20, 2012

    While in no way meaning to take away from Scotty's "American Idol" win, this is a chorus competition, not a solo act ... kudos to the other members of the choruses (especially Garner's) for still giving 100% and representing us just as proudly as he has.

  • CestLaVie Feb 20, 2012


  • cwood3 Feb 20, 2012

    I hope WRAL has a camera crew with them in DC to show to all of us back home in the area.

    Good job by both students and faculty. These students will remember this trip forever.