Serenading liberty

The Hughesville High School choir will take their act on the road on Wednesday, as they travel to the Statue of Liberty to give a live performance to its many visitors.

Choir director, Brian Barkley originally planned to take the students to Dorney Park to perform, but thought that too many of the students had been to the local amusement parks, and decided that it was time to try something new.

“It is important to me that when we take a trip, that is educational and a lifelong memory for the students,” Barkley said.

After some brainstorming, Barkley thought that singing at the Statue of Liberty would be the perfect opportunity for his students. He called a New York travel group and got the permit needed, which will be displayed while the students sing at the statue. It was approved and the students started preparing for the trip.

“I think it’s great to see teenagers singing about love of country, and what better way to do that than at the Statue of Liberty,” said Barkley

“I love New York City and I’ve never been to the Statue of Liberty, so it will be a fun experience,” said junior Joy Doty.

After the students perform at the statue, the plan is to take the ferry back to the city and go see Aladdin on Broadway.

The choir has been a building group over the past few years. Last year the group consisted of only 18 students, and this year it has increased to

52 students. Next year it is projected that 70 students will be in the choir.

“One of the goals of taking trips is to provide a lifelong experience for the students who are already in choir, and to also recruit new students into the program and to get them involved,” Barkley said.

The students spend class periods learning new music and preparing for upcoming concerts and performances.

“The most important thing is the education and how they are able to train their voice,” Barkley said.

The students also have become close with one another, and the choir has turned into a family-like environment.

“This is kind of like a judgment free zone,” said Libby Rodgriguez, senior and choir president.

The students are given assignments to learn different pieces of music, and to learn their selected parts. They are able to use their iPad Mini, provided by the school, to look over their music. The program on the iPad Mini allows the student to see the music and lyrics on the screen, but they also can use headphones to learn their selected parts.

“I love singing, it makes me feel like I can do anything,” Rodgriguez.

The students then take what they have learned in the classroom and perform throughout the community.

The group recently has performed in assisted living centers and at the Lycoming Mall. Some of its upcoming events include performing at the African Music Festival at the Community Arts Center on April 25 and the Arts Festival concert on May 7.

“I like the diversity in the music that we get to sing,” Doty said.

Barkley credits the East Lycoming School District administration and the help from other county choruses for the success of his building choir.

He explained that the choruses coordinate with each other and help each other out when needed.

“If we can help each other in anyway possible, we do it,” Barkley said.

He also said that the administration always has been behind the choir 100 percent. Whether it be in providing the students with the latest technology, or even just giving the students praise after concerts, the administration always has been there.

The choir will continue to grow in the years to come, and it also plans to make more trips. Next year the choir is scheduled to visit Cedar Point and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.