Harmonizing together

High school choirs combine for concert at Clayton Center

Ken Hawkins often sees Maryville High School compete athletically with cross-county rivals Heritage and William Blount high schools. On Thursday, Sept. 23, however, the MHS choir director says the students from all three schools - plus Lenoir City -- will come together in beautiful harmony.

The MHS Orchestra/Chorus Concert at the Clayton Center for the Arts on Maryville College campus will feature the talents and voices of the choruses from Maryville, Heritage, William Blount and Lenoir City high schools, plus accompaniment from the MHS Orchestra and an ensemble from the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

It all started six years ago with Maryville and Heritage.

“Years ago, I wanted to show how we can compete against each other on athletic field and court and join forces to do a music performance,” said Hawkins. “It has been very successful, and it is really exciting how it has grown and has been a really good thing.”

Inviting Heritage that first year was a natural for Hawkins because he started his career at Heritage High School. “It was natural thing to do to invite them,” he said. “There have been years we would have a concert on a Thursday, and the game Maryville/Heritage game would be the next night. I find it is interesting that we can be competitors and then be unified in different projects.”

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Hawkins praised the musical talent at Lenoir City and William Blount high schools as well.

“It has turned into a really big thing,” he said, adding that the community always gives the combined concert good reviews. “It has turned into something that is very enjoyable.”

Hawkins said the choirs will perform Gounod St. Cecilia Mass. “That is a 45-minute major piece done in Latin,” he said. “It’s a big project.”

There is no admission charge for the concert, which will be in the main theater at the Clayton Center.

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