The La Grande High School a cappella choir has hit a high note by becoming the 2009 Class 4A state champion.
The program has a long history of commitment to excellence. Credit goes to director Kevin Durfee for guiding this year’s program to the pinnacle of success, and enjoying the journey along the way. The victory proves that high expectations of students can pay dividends. Such demanding and yet at the same time fun programs help reveal to students their capabilities, which are often much greater than the students had first imagined.
One goal of the program should be to instill a lifelong love of singing, and the performance of these students proves they are well on their way toward achieving that mission.
Rigorous, challenging high school programs such as the LHS choir are a good predictor of future college success. A student who can be part of a winning team in high school will use that momentum and confidence boost to excel in other areas of life, whether that is academics, a hobby or a career.
It’s unfortunate that these extracurriculars are threatened by dwindling budgets. Choir and other extracurriculars teach such lessons as teamwork and accountability. They’re part of challenging, competitive public schools. They also show the doors a free public education can open, even though nothing is entirely really free, as the latest budget woes can attest.
Education is an investment in the future. The LHS a cappella championship will go a long way toward enhancing the lives of the participants. Each youth can take the victory with them and make a difference in the future.
It’s wonderful that the LHS a cappella choir has unlocked students’ talents and shown them their potential, not only in singing but in all of life. Congratulations to director Durfee and a bunch of high-achieving students for a job well done.
Congratulations also go to the Joseph High School Thespian Troupe for taking home Troupe of the Year honors at the Oregon State Thespian Conference.
Troupe Director Pam Latta’s charges were among three of more than 80 troupes chartered by the state to receive the award. It was the fourth time in 18 years JHS has achieved the honor.
The troupe’s professionalism and excellence bode well for the future of theater in the region.