02/24/10 — Mount Olive College hosts second choirfest

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Mount Olive College hosts second choirfest

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on February 24, 2010 1:46 PM

Carol Riggs swept onto the stage, standing to the side of the grand piano as she addressed the Goldsboro High School choir.

"Have you read the words? Are they a part of you?" she asked, launching into a multifaceted critique of the singing group's performance.

Ms. Riggs, a voice instructor who spent more than 30 years working with high school students across five different school districts, was the clinician on call Friday at the second annual Mount Olive College Choirfest.

Choirfest gives voice students in Wayne County a chance to practice performing in front of an audience while receiving critique from a musician with years of experience in working with teens and young adults.

Over 160 students representing five high schools in Wayne and Lenoir Counties participated in the half-day event on the campus of Mount Olive College. Each choir preformed a selection from their repertoire, after which Ms. Riggs spent half an hour holding a workshop with each choral group.

The original idea was to give students and their directors a chance to try out their skills before going to state singing competitions, and to help reinforce lessons the directors have been working on with students. Last year's first choral festival proved to be so successful, Dr. Alan Armstrong, chair of the Mount Olive College Music Department, wanted to hold it again.

"We received many positive comments from the high school choral directors praising the event," Armstrong said.

The event is the only one of its kind in Wayne County. Five of Wayne County's six high schools participated in the event.