Durham Ensemble Wins Choral Award

April 21, 2009, Durham, NC: The Durham School of the Arts Advanced Middle School Chorus, directed by Laura B. A. Delauney, has won the Triangle Youth Chorus Trophy for 2009. This is the first year a middle school has been honored – and the Trophy’s second trip to DSA, whose high school chorale was the first recipient in 2004.
The Triangle Youth Chorus Trophy is given each spring to a school in Wake, Durham, Orange or Chatham County. The purpose is to encourage and promote choral singing in the public schools, and to recognize the achievements of local youth ensembles and music educators.
The Trophy, an inventive metal sculpture by North Carolina artist Lyle Estill, comes with: a $750 cash grant for the winning director to use for the choir or school music department, a $300 credit toward music purchases at Hinshaw Music Company; a professional recording session by engineer/photographer Mark Manring. Each chorister and the director will receive a Trophy T-shirt.
The Advanced Middle School Chorus is one of eight vocal ensembles at the Durham School of the Arts. The auditioned ensemble of mixed voices, established in 2005, has received “Superior” assessments at various choral festivals and has participated in the annual “Light Up Durham” program and WRAL’s “Coats for Kids” drive. Last December, the chorus was invited to perform at the Biltmore House in Asheville for the Christmas Candlelight Tours.
Laura Delauney, who became director of the DSA choral program in 2004, has been on medical leave this semester. She learned of the award at a small celebration at Durham Regional Hospital, where she’ll be giving birth to her first child later this spring. The event was recorded by Mark Manring in a video that will be played for the chorus at a surprise presentation at the school Tuesday afternoon, April 21st; members of last year’s winning ensemble, Leesville Road High School Capital Pride, will deliver the Trophy.
This year, Triangle Youth Chorus Award of Merit also is being awarded – to the Martin G.T. Magnet Middle School’s Honors Chorus, directed by Ramona P. Jenner. That group’s 39 singers also will receive T-shirts; they’ll retain the mini-trophy for a year, and Stephen Anderson of Anderson Videography will provide them a recording session.
Both the DSA and Martin Middle School choruses will be featured on a segment of WCPE’s “Great Sacred Music” program on a Sunday morning later this year. In addition, they will receive individual master classes from two distinguished conductors, Dr. Rodney Wynkoop for DSA and Dr. Alfred E. Sturgis for Martin.
An Advisory Board of educators, conductors, reviewers, singers and choral enthusiasts evaluates written material and performances to select the winner. They focus on musical excellence and other accomplishments – such as the choir’s development, and its im¬pact on members, the school and the community.
This year’s initiative is supported by TriangleSings!, Hinshaw Music Company, Lisa and Tom McIver, Walton Music Corporation, Youth Pro Musica Fund of Triangle Community Founda¬tion, Burrage Music Company, and Sally K. Albrecht and Jay Althouse. Area conductors volunteer to provide master classes; the photographic and recording services are donated by Mark Manring and Steve Anderson.
Previous winners were the Durham School of the Arts Chorale, led by Scott Hill (2004); the Sandpipers of Jesse O. Sanderson High School, Raleigh, directed by Marshall Butler (2005); Raleigh’s Chamber Choir of Enloe High School, directed by Ann Huff (2006); Jordansound of C.E Jordan High School in Durham, conducted by Joe Lupton (2007); Capital Pride, Leesville Road High School, Raleigh, directed by Diane Covington (2008).
The Advisory Board members are: Lance Buhl, Buhl & Associates; Lori O’Keefe, Triangle Community Foundation; Scott Hill, Durham Children’s Choir; Ken Hoover, WCPE “Great Sacred Music”; John Lambert, Classical Voice of North Carolina; Lisa McIver, Brightleaf Music Workshop; Fran Page, Capital City Girls Choir/Meredith College; Carol Robbins, TriangleSings!; Leandra Strope, Sisters’ Voices, Al Sturgis, North Carolina Master Chorale/North Carolina Ballet. As director of the 2008 Trophy chorus, Diane Covington joined the board for the current year.
For further information, contact Carol Robbins (trianglesings@aol.com or 919/545-0343.
(Press release supplied by Triangle Sings.)