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Liberty breaks own record at Alabama All State Choral Festival

MADISON – Winning over the competition gives a feeling of fulfillment, but breaking your own record can feel even sweeter.

Choir students at Liberty Middle School beat their own record with 23 vocalists earning places at the 2021 Alabama Vocal Association All State Choral Festival.

“This is the most students that we have ever had in All-State Choir,” Liberty Principal Shannon Brown said. “Mrs. Alicia Mulloy has gone above and beyond in developing her students during this difficult time. We’re beyond proud of their accomplishments.”

To audition, students submitted a virtual or online performance to Alabama Vocal Association. Any student in grades 7-12 enrolled in a school choir class was eligible to audition.

“Students had to perform seven songs of various styles and languages provided by Alabama Vocal Association,” Mulloy said. “Students were required to perform each song from beginning to end with an instrumental background track.”

The following list shows Liberty’s All-State vocalists grouped by vocal part (SATB) and grade:

* Soprano – Colleen King and Hannah Lee, eighth.

* Soprano 2 – Abigail Holme, Scarlett Pressell, Lauren Clark, Sophie Ava Jones and Ashley Kimberl, seventh. Emily Jolley and Mackenzie Bradley, eighth.

* Alto – Kaylee Rodgers, Sarah Stewart, Natalie Strong, Abbygail Watts, Charlotte Alford and Victoria Dow, eighth. Julianna Ballard, Lauren Johnson, Lora Prince and Susie Sorensen, seventh.

* Tenor – Brycen Fuller, Alex Lively, Andrew Smith and Christian Wyatt, seventh.

Student Charlotte Alford felt excited to qualify for the choir and said, “I’ll have the opportunity to sing with the state’s best singers at the All State Choral Festival in April.” Sophie Ava Jones was “happy. I almost started crying when ‘Mrs. M&M’ told me I made it.”

Mulloy was proud to see results from the vocal association. “I was confident in my students because I knew how hard they worked to prepare for this audition,” Mulloy said.

Auditioning online was a new experience but positive because “you can do as many ‘re-do’s’ as needed until you have the perfect recording to submit. Also, you don’t have the pressure of a judge and other auditionees staring at you as you sing.”

“The hours invested, on the director’s part, ensuring correct video submissions by the deadline was a bit overwhelming (correct video/audio format, video submitted to proper place on audition website, parent-signed documents turned into the website on time). It’s a lot of pressure knowing that a really great singer could potentially not make the choir because his/her mic was on mute during the recording or the video uploaded incorrectly,” Mulloy said.

The All-State Choir will present a concert at the Von Braun Center on April 27. Students will work with a guest clinician all day to perfect the seven songs that they prepared for auditions.

At Liberty since 2018 as Director of Choral Music, Mulloy has taught beginning choir, tenor/bass choir, virtual choir and soprano/alto choir.

“This year has been extremely difficult for Liberty Choir due to safety precautions we’re taking per COVID-19. We are not singing inside. Outside (weather permitting), we are spaced out so far (that) we can’t hear one another,” Mulloy said.

“I’m so proud of these students for their dedication, hard work and not giving up on choir. With the support of our administration, choir parents and our passionate choir members, we have found a way to continue to strive for excellence through these troubling times. I am truly blessed,” Mulloy said.

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