Pioneer Choir earns second straight All-Music Award –

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Pioneer choir earned the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) All-Music Award for the second straight year this past weekend, April 13. during the organizational contest at Kankakee Valley Middle School in Wheatfield, Ind.

The choir scored gold with distinction for their performance, meaning they earned a near perfect score. They also received a gold rating for sight reading, which tests the ability to read musical notation.

In order to earn the All-Music Award, they also had to attain gold ratings in earlier competitions that included vocal jazz and small ensemble and solo.

“It takes a lot of hard work on (the students’) end,” said choir director Adrienne Pursley. “They have to have a lot of dedication to practice and put in full effort in class and also outside of class. The solo and ensemble was a lot of individual work on their part. It’s a lot of dedication from the kids in a lot of areas of music.”

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Sophomore Hunter Bartling said earning the All-Music Award for a second straight year was a big achievement for the school.

“It’s such a good group of people and it’s always a good environment whenever we are together,” he said. “To be able to win it with our smaller groups and our full choir is a very good feeling for all of us.”

Junior Courtney McGuire was proud of her teammate’s accomplishment. While she was worried about the sight reading exercises, she believed in their ability to achieve their goal.

“Winning the banner two years in a row really makes me feel accomplished and I’m really proud of all of us,” she said.

Freshman Sheena Cole said she probably wouldn’t have joined the choir if she hadn’t already heard the talent other members possessed. She called the older students amazing people and really good at what they do and said they had inspired her to put in the same effort she saw them give.

“We all have to work together,” she said. “That’s why I love choir and theater. We all pull our own weight and we all help each other. It’s really beautiful.”

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