Young Teens Sing Sweet Music At Choral Society Concert

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Music resounds through the young lives of Kaitie Jones, Katie Schouten and Sierra Royer.

"I sing everywhere, pretty much," Jones said. She and Schouten also play violins. Royer plays the clarinet.

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One of the activities the middle-school teenagers have discovered a love for is singing as members of the Payson Choral Society.

Jones was the first of the three friends to audition for the choir. She knew conductor Daria Mason as her fifth-grade music teacher from Frontier Elementary School.

Jones was "scared to death" to sing with adults the first concert.

Now, she has quite a few "adopted grandparents" and believes she has become a better singer because of the breathing techniques she has learned.

Jones helped convince Royer and Schouten to audition.

After the 2006 Christmas concert, Royer's mother also encouraged her to "go for it."

"I did and I am really happy," Royer said.

How the choir sounds in unison she knew, but practice opened up a vibrant world of sound for Royer.

"I was amazed when we started singing our scales and we all had different voices," she said.

In the smaller choirs, Royer sang in previously, she was an alto. Now a second soprano, Royer has learned to read soprano music.

"Choir is really fun," Schouten said.

Reading music, listening for her cues to sing and following Mason's direction makes her concentrate at a new level.

She is learning to smile at the same time. "Sometimes I don't quite accomplish that," she said.

Yet, when Mason gave the choir choices of songs that members might audition for as solos, Jones and Schouten decided to try "A Special Night."

"It is a carol I've never heard before, so it is really neat to learn a new song," Schouten said.

The two girls are looking forward -- with a bit of nervous anticipation -- to performing as a duet in the holiday concert "What Sweeter Music."

Schouten, Jones and Royer hope more of their friends will audition for the Payson Choral Society.

There are two "What Sweeter Music" performances in the Payson High School Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 8, a matinee at 2:30 and an evening program at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $3 for students ages 12 to 18, and free for children ages 11 and under.

Tickets may be purchased in advance from Choral Society members, The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Payson Roundup, and at the library. Tickets will also be available at the door before each concert.

Proceeds from the concerts provide musical scholarships to middle school and high school students. These are awarded each year at the group's spring concert.

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