Longmeadow student joins top high school musicians
LONGMEADOW, Mass. (AP) — Lauren R. Carey, a junior at Longmeadow High School, has been accepted into the All-National Honor Choir, a program of the National Association for Music Education. She’ll travel to Nashville in October to perform with the ensemble.
According to the association’s website, “The ensemble represent(s) the top performing high school musicians in the United States.”
Kayla Werlin, choral director at Longmeadow High School, says of Carey, “Lauren is one of those students for whom I went into music education. She is eager, self-motivated and capable.”
Werlin adds, “In the past, we’ve sent many students to Western District and All-State — in fact, usually more than any other high school in Massachusetts. We’ve regularly sent one or two students to All-Eastern, but I can’t think of another student we’ve sent to nationals. I’m so proud of Lauren. She truly deserves this honor.”
The criteria for acceptance included Lauren’s being a member of her high-school chorus and the All-State choir here in Massachusetts, submitting a two-minute audition video of her singing, and receiving her choral director’s endorsement.
Lauren, an alto, also plays piano.
“I’ve been singing forever,” she said, “but I really got into it in middle school with Mr. (Michael) Smith. I sang in the girls’ chorus and the 7:45 Chorus (an extracurricular ensemble that meets before school).”
In high school she has taken advantage of the variety of choral options available to students, singing in the freshmen women’s chorus and a group called La Cappella. She auditioned for and was accepted into the Accidentals, an extracurricular chorus. And, this year, she will sing with the high school’s most elite group, Lyrics.
She’s also has had fun with music outside of school. Joining with her older sister, Anna, a singer and recent graduate of Longmeadow High School who is attending Villanova this fall, she’s performed at Open Mic Nights at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield and put together other kinds of musical performances.
“I enjoy performing,” said Lauren with a smile. She is the daughter of Andrea and Robert Carey.
“I’m really excited to be going to nationals,” she said, “but I’m also a little nervous since I’ll be the only one from Longmeadow. I know it’s going to be a fun experience, and the music will be wonderful.”
She’ll be receiving the music for Nashville this month so she can begin learning it. Three long rehearsals are scheduled in the three days leading up to the concert.
Rollo Dilworth, chair of the Music Education Department at Temple University, is scheduled to direct the choir. Carey anticipates there will be some classical pieces, as well as songs in different languages and from a variety of cultures.
Her father, Robert Carey, said of his daughter’s accomplishment, “We were thrilled about her opportunity to participate in All-State. We hadn’t even thought about nationals. We’re pleasantly surprised by this opportunity.”
According to Lauren, junior year is the “perfect year to do it.” She’ll be looking at colleges this year and applying next fall. To have this experience as part of her high school resume is beneficial.
Though Lauren isn’t sure what direction her future will take, her father noted, “As we look at colleges, we’ll be looking at those with music programs in case that’s the path she wants to follow.”
Schools superintendent Marie Doyle said, “Lauren’s acceptance into the National Honor Choir is well deserved. We are most proud of her monumental achievement and wish her the best during her performance in Nashville.”