Every year at Calvary Christian Academy, students in grades 9-12 are given the awesome opportunity to participate in the Keystone Christian Education Association’s All-State Choir.
It is when students in Christian schools across Pennsylvania perform two concerts on the steps inside the Harrisburg Capitol Building. It is an experience that a lot of students look forward to every year, and according to CCA student Shayna Hawthorne, “it’s a tradition.” It is one of the most-loved events during the school year.
This event is normally scheduled during the Thursday through Saturday before Thanksgiving, but due to weather difficulties, it was shortened to Friday and Saturday, November 16-17. This year Calvary sent ei18 students, plus three girls who were from Huntingdon Christian Academy, to participate in the choir with their music teacher Sarah Feaster. In all, 118 students made up the whole choir. The director of the choir was Eliezer Yanson, Jr.
Since the event happens on a single weekend of a year, there is much more work that goes into it then you might think. Months of preparing and work are put into making it happen. The event is put together by KCEA, and the songs are picked by the KCEA board. KCEA is an organization for private Christian schools that are in Pennsylvania. The organization has been around since 1974. All-State was first started in November of 1992.
Schools who are in KCEA sometimes compete in athletics and in fine-arts competitions. KCEA’s purpose is to secure their education along with biblical faith. They also give students a chance to use their musical talents through programs like All-State.
Much work and time is spent preparing the songs. CCA prepares for All-State starting with the music in September. The students usually go over the songs three times a week and do their best to memorize the songs. In mid-October, the students audition by recording the songs; all the recordings are sent to be judged. In the beginning of November, the schools are told the results of who was accepted into the choir. On the Thursday before the concerts, all schools participating make the long trip to Harrisburg. The schools all meet in a nearby church to practice for the two concerts. Hours and hours of hard work are put into making the concert perfect.
People may wonder why CCA does All-State. The reason is to let those who love music have an opportunity to hone their talents but also apply biblical truths to their singing. It helps students to become better musicians and to love music more and more. Another reason why CCA does All-State is because it gives students opportunity to make unforgettable memories — a great experience to any student who goes.