With many school activities and events cut short due to COVID-19, the choirs missed out on their last concert of the year. This last concert includes awards and of course, shared memories.

Six students of the class of 2020 have been in the choir family since 2016, including Lindsay Gamblin, Madison Jolly, Emily Marrill-Hamm, Phoebe Callicutt, Mallorie Dittman, and Kennison Parker.

Seniors shared their favorite memories via Director Elaine Russell:

• Second-year choral student, Chyna Sturdivant – “Singing with my friends.”

• Emily Marrill-Hamm, a fourth-year student in concert choir, said she fondly remembers, “when you (Russell) made me try out for tenor in SCA, and I made the Honor Choir!”

• Madison Jolly, also a fourth-year student in choir, recalls the trips as her best memory. “Any trip we went on we would sing songs together. This brought me a sense of unity and family that a lot of people don’t get to experience. Every time we would goof off on our bus my heart would swell because my classmates are a part of my family. Nothing compares to the love I feel for not only choir, but the people in it. Especially Mrs. Russell. Choir has brought so much joy into my life, and I will never forget it or the people in it.”

• Evan Abney, was in choir this year only, and said a trip to the Fox Theatre to see the musical “Wicked” was his favorite memory. “I made a couple of new friends there that were in the Chamber Singers. I also had a steak for breakfast!”

• Lindsay Gamblin is also a fourth-year concert choir member. “I have so many great memories, so it’s really hard to just tell one memory (like when Mrs. Russell called me “tuna fish” for two years because I told a ‘choir’ joke), but because I have to pick a memory I’m going to go with school tour, not any year in particular, just the event itself. I remember being in elementary school sitting on those bleachers wanting to be those choir kids down there, with a bond as tight as theirs, dancing to pep tunes with my friends. Now that I've been one of those choir kids, and I’ve gotten to be a part of the school tour for the last four years, I know it was much greater than I ever thought, and it’s much harder to leave high school knowing I’ll never be a part of that again. I’ll miss it the most. So as my senior year comes to end I want to thank you, Mrs. Russell, for always believing in me, when I didn’t believe in myself. I could never really thank you enough for not giving up on me, and for making sure I was always okay and happy! Mrs. Russell was a great blessing to me, and most definitely always will be. I really disliked high school, some days it was really hard for me to even want to come, but every single day I was excited for choir.”

Fourth-year member Mallorie Dittman will miss rehearsals the most. “I could go on and on about how much I love performing at Christmas time, or how much fun New Orleans was last year. I could talk about all of our fun bus rides and competing at SCA, but my most favorite memory is simply our everyday rehearsals. Getting to bond every day and watch ourselves grow as a choir is something I don’t think I will ever forget. We had so much fun. Of course there were days where we had to get serious, but 90 percent of the time we were always laughing at Jeen (Mrs. Russell). Love my choir family so much and will sincerely miss everything.”