Students share songs

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, May 30, 2009

Graduation is over and the class of 2009 has become the class of 2013 as college freshmen.

Many of our graduates will cherish memories of their experiences with Pelham High School’s choir and choral music teacher, Lynne Jebeless. Now, our underclassmen wonder with delight what Jebeles has in store for them.

Each year, the school’s choir takes part in school and community functions. There’s also a tremendous amount that goes on outside of the Pelham community as well.

In the spring of 2008, Jebeles took a group of choral students to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall. Last fall, Jebeles shared with me that she was planning a more modest journey for this spring; a journey to schools without music. She wondered what lessons her students would learn.

After an amazing spring choral concert in May, rental trucks were packed with equipment. The next morning a charter bus carrying the Pelham High School choir embarked on a trip to perform for two schools without choral music programs. Pelham “This [Clay County] is where I am from and they do not have music in their schools, not in any grade! Our kids found this amazing,” Jebeless said. “I know how much my students love the choral art and I wanted them to share this love with kids just like them who don’t have this advantage.”

“Talking with these students was surreal. The seniors left school at noon because they didn’t have any electives left to take,” said 2009 graduate Abi Duke. “They just went home or to work – they were very disconnected from their school. I gained a new appreciation for the opportunities I’ve had as a student of a school system that makes the arts part of school. I can’t imagine not having been a part of show choir.”

Jebeles said she wanted her students to experience giving back.

“We do so much for ourselves,” she said. “Few of our kids know what schools are like outside of our system so they cannot be thankful for the blessings of PHS.”

Discovering where your talent lies is an integral part of schooling. For many of our students, they’ve discovered their talent and their confidence in arts classes.