Rustin stu­dent to per­form in Na­tional Honors Choir

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - Staff Report

Rustin High School ju­nior Emily Da­m­asco re­cently re­turned to West Ch­ester af­ter per­form­ing with the Na­tional Honors Choir from Nov. 10-13 in Texas.

Da­m­asco, a so­prano, was se­lected to sing in the 2016 Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for Mu­sic Ed­u­ca­tors’ Na­tional Honors Choir af­ter com­plet­ing sev­eral suc­cess­ful au­di­tions at the lo­cal, re­gional, and state level this past spring.

“Emily was one of the top 20 so­pra­nos to go to the Penn­syl­va­nia district level, one of the top 10 so­pra­nos to move on to re­gion­als, and one of the top six so­pra­nos to go to states,” said Ann El­lis, the di­rec­tor of Choirs, Key­boards, and Mu­sic Theory at Rustin High School. “She also scored very high

at the state level, and as a re­sult was se­lected to be a part of the Na­tional Honors Choir.”

Ap­prox­i­mately 350 stu­dents from nearly ev­ery state in the na­tion were se­lected to sing in the Na­tional Honors Choir and per­form in a special con­cert, which was held at the Gay­lord Texan Ho­tel and Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in Grapevine, Texas.

“Being se­lected to sing in the Na­tional Honors Choir meant the world to me,” said Da­m­asco, who be­gan singing when she was 6 years old. “I worked very hard to ac­com­plish this goal. Au­di­tion­ing in dis­tricts all the way through to na­tion­als took dis­ci­pline and ded­i­ca­tion,

and it was worth ev­ery minute.”

To pre­pare for the con­cert, Da­m­asco and the other stu­dents who were se­lected participated in nu­mer­ous re­hearsals and work­shops over the course of three days. “I learned the value of mu­sic and harmony dur­ing the re­hearsals with Dr. An­ton Arm­strong, our guest con­duc­tor, and was able to work with and learn from many other ta­lented mu­si­cians,” Da­m­asco said.

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion that Emily has given to the choral art, work­ing daily to im­prove not only her own gift, but en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to sing to the best of their abil­ity as well,” said El­lis.

“I am also ex­tremely proud of Emily on this out­stand­ing, once in a life­time ac­com­plish­ment,” said David

Ehrhart, su­per­vi­sor of Fine Arts, World Lan­guages, and Ca­reer Ed­u­ca­tion in the West Ch­ester Area School District. “She is very de­serv­ing of this op­por­tu­nity.”

When asked what she liked most about her ex­pe­ri­ence with the Na­tional Honors Choir, Da­m­asco shared she en­joyed singing the se­lected songs, and also en­joyed in­ter­act­ing with the very ta­lented peo­ple who shared sim­i­lar in­ter­ests in mu­sic.

Da­m­asco plans to at­tend col­lege and is cur­rently

look­ing at schools that in­clude The Cur­tis In­sti­tute of Mu­sic, The Juil­liard School, Man­hat­tan School of Mu­sic, and In­di­ana Univer­sity Bloomington. She would like to be­come a pro­fes­sional opera singer or solo per­former when she grad­u­ates.

“I en­joy singing and want peo­ple to be able to con­nect with the mu­sic as much as I do,” said Da­m­asco. “Mu­sic is a very im­por­tant part of my life, and I hope my mu­sic has an ef­fect on peo­ple now and in the future.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Emily Da­m­asco and ap­prox­i­mately 350 stu­dents from across the na­tion were se­lected to sing in the Na­tional Honors Choir. The group re­hearsed and then per­formed to­gether in Texas from Nov. 10-13.

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