Music teacher Ginna Marsh, right, leads the ACHS choir through several challenging songs Tuesday morning.
The Adair County School District’s focus on college and career readiness and technical training is widely known, and rightly so, but the emphasis has not come at the expense of arts and humanities instruction, as has been the case at other schools across the country. For confirmation, one only needs to look at Ginna Marsh and the hard work her choir students are putting in every single day.
Marsh leads choir programs both Adair County High School and Adair County Middle School, and also volunteers after school on Thursdays to teach the discipline to elementary school students. In only her first year on the job, her success is already evident.
“We’re very lucky to have Ginna Marsh,” says ACHS Principal Troy Young. “She brings a ton of excitement and energy and her students pick up on that. Choir gives the students a chance to express themselves and belong to something and we are very proud of the work they do.”
Marsh said few students knew about the ACHS and ACMS choirs when she arrived, and she’s still working on increasing numbers. “Right now we have 16 in high school and 15 in middle school,” Marsh says. “We still want the program to grow. The more people, the better the sound and the more we can do with them.”
Marsh takes pride in the strides her students have taken over the past few months. The groups went from only being able to sing in unison at the start of the year to now incorporating two and three-part harmonies, which she says is difficult. “They’re doing a lot of stuff they’ve never done before,” Marsh says. “It’s not easy to sing something different than the person standing next to them. They really have to focus.”
The high school and middle school both had representatives at Honor Choir last semester, a notable achievement, and plans for this semester are even greater. The choir will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Friday night’s home basketball games, as well as the upcoming 20th District Tournament games. A competition at Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville is scheduled for May 13, the spring concert will be held May 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria, and the Adair County Elementary School choir will perform in an upcoming musical produced by the fourth grade class.
“We’ve seen a ton of growth since the beginning of the school year and we just want that growth to continue,” Marsh says. “It’s a lot of work, but so far they’ve done great. Next year, we want to do even more – we want to have students in the All-State choir.”