The Salem Singers, a small vocal jazz ensemble from Salem High School, has been selected to perform at the Virginia Music Educators In-Service State Conference on Nov. 16 at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. As Mike Horanski, the VCDA President-Elect stated, “This is a real honor for you and your singers, and I am excited that you will be representing the best choral singing that Virginia has to offer.”
Established in 2006 under the direction of Kristi Vernon, Salem Singers is an advanced vocal ensemble comprised of twelve to fifteen students depending on the semester, in grades nine through twelve that mainly performs contemporary commercial music with an emphasis on jazz. Salem Singers meets after school every day to allow students with full schedules due to advanced, dual-enrolled or full International Baccalaureate classes the opportunity to be a part of the class which receives a credit toward graduation. However, it presents challenges for students involved in extracurricular activities like sports, marching band and forensics to participate for the full year, so the ensemble changes membership at the semester based on students involved in these after school activities.
Salem Singers has earned a reputation for excellence in the community and the district due to receiving superior ratings at District Choral Assessment performing advanced jazz repertoire and has been featured on local television programs and conferences for the Virginia School Board Association’s Blue Ridge Forum and the Virginia Association of Federal Education Program Administrators. In addition, Salem Singers recently won the second annual Southwest Virginia GLEE competition and has received first place jazz choir awards and over-all honors at regional competitions across the east coast.
Submitted by Kristi Vernon.