KMEA Honor Choir and Honor Band perform at district concert


The 2016 KMEA Honor Choir.

“Without art, civilization as we know it would become meaningless.”

Those are the words and feelings from Jason Sickel, choir director at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park.

Sickel was addressing the students selected to perform for the KMEA honor concert on Dec. 10. After being named Kansas Teacher of the Year, Sickel was chosen to conduct the District Honor Choir.

From Hays High alone, there were 36 students selected to perform in the choir.

Senior Rachelle Lumpkins has been accepted into district for four years in a row.

“I love everything music has to offer,” Lumpkins said.

The choir performed five songs during the course of the concert.

Of those songs, freshman Ana States said her favorite piece was “Tshotsholoza”, a traditional South African freedom song adapted by Jeffery L. Ames.

“It was such an upbeat song,” States said. “We sounded so powerful during our performance.”

Conducting for the Honor Band was Randall Fillmore, a 2014-2015 Kansas NFHS Outstanding Music Educator.

The 2016 KMEA Honor Band.

Senior Sam Crowley was one of seven students selected from Hays High to participate.

Crowley has been accepted into the District Honor Band for four consecutive years, mainly playing percussion.

The band performed five songs, with one being a combined piece with the Honor Choir.

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is a traditional combined piece for the KMEA concert. While the band plays on the stage, the choir members sing in the balcony.

“Music is one of the greatest gifts that life has given to me,” Sickel said. “I wouldn’t trade any moments with music for anything.”