ENMU choir camp gets young voices tuned-up

By Paula Cronic: PNT Staff Writer

Students who love to sing in choir, love learning about music and the concepts of sight-reading came from all over the state to participate in Eastern New Mexico University’s Choir Camp this week.

Director of Choral Activities Jason Paulk said the camp is in its 15th year. He said the camp usually generates between 40 and 50 students but a total of 85 students have participated in the camp this year.

Students, who range from freshman to graduating seniors, are participating in the camp, which gives the students exposure to a wide range of ages and abilities.

“I’ve learned a lot on how to perform better, how to prepare myself for performing and how to sight-read music,” Janet Walker, a Portales High School student said.

Walker will be a senior this coming school year and will also be co-president of the high school choir. She said working with other choir students from around the state has been an amazing experience.

The camp charges a fee and is available for any high school choir student interested. Those who pay an extra fee are given private voice lessons in addition to their participation in the camp.

Mackenzie Kennedy, another PHS student took private lessons.

“They went really well, I was shown how to control my voice better,” she said.

Teachers from around the state as well, came to help with the choral camp. Also assisting with the camp were four voice professors from ENMU, a professor of music from Kilgore College in Texas and five music counselors who are also ENMU students.

“Those teachers and the student counselors make it possible for them to stay in the dorms because they act as chaperones,” Paulk said. “The camp could not function the way it does without the support of the choir teachers that come here.”

The camp also helps the students prepare for all-state and solo and ensemble festivals in which the students will participate with their choirs in the regular part of the academic year.

Students were grouped into four voice classes and each of those classes will perform during the concert held today at 2 p.m. in ENMU’s Buchanan Hall in the music building. Paulk said the students also worked together as an ensemble group and will perform music which was mostly chosen by next year’s all-state repertoire.