Wednesday, February 21, 2018




Pride of Panola Children's Honor Choir debut held Tuesday

By Carolyn Copeland
Feb. 10, 2018 at 11:01 a.m.

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Folk Music was the theme of the Carthage Music Club Program on Feb. 6 in Q.M. Martin Auditorium as club member Kristy Cawthon led the debut performance of the Pride of Panola Children's Honor Choir.

The benefits of music in the education of children has been well documented, but due to budget constraints, many schools in the county can't support music programs, so children have little or no opportunities for music experiences. Carthage Music Club, along with other groups in the community, such as Carthage Book Club and Panola County Retired School Employees Association, agreed to support Kristy's idea of a local children's choir.

Comprised of fourth- through sixth - grade children from Gary Elementary, Northside Christian Academy and the Local Homeschool Association, the choir was organized in the fall of 2017. Their concert was the result of hard work on the part of the children, the director, accompanist Judy Galetar and Panola College Choral Director Sandra Bauer, along with college choir members.

Ginger Cook, president of Carthage Music Club, introduced the program, followed by club members Stephen George, Annissa Jackson, Nancy Langford, Dwaine Hubbard, Joyce Hughes and David Yarbrough. Club members told how music became a part of their lives as they introduced each song by reading the research done by Gary Elementary students on the origins of the songs.

Other club members had provided a brunch earlier in the day.

The first number, "Meet the Folks(ongs)," contained "Swanee River," "Li'l Liza Jane," "Old Joe Clark," "Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair" and "Cindy." This was followed by "I Bought Me a Cat" and "'Tis the Simple Things in Life" based on "Simple Gifts," a Shaker Song, used by American Composer Aaron Copland in his Appalachian Spring ballet.

The songs "Skip to My Lou" and "Shoo Fly, Shoo" were included in "Skip! Skip! Shoo, Fly Shoo!" "Shenandoah" was performed with guest violinist Hannah Menefee of Project String Power, and the final piece, "Let It Shine!" based on "This Little Light of Mine" was performed with Panola College Choral students.

The children demonstrated confidence, focus, clear diction and poise as they sang the beautiful choral arrangements. The very large audience gave the choir a standing ovation. It is hoped more children will take advantage of this opportunity in the future. Closing remarks were made by Brenda Giles, President of Delta Kappa Gamma.

Carthage Music Club is affiliated with the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Texas Federation of Music Clubs.

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