GREEN RIVER — Chatney Tirrell’s exposure to the world of music began at birth. Singing went right along with learning to talk. Her first performance before a large audience happened at 3 years of age in front of a church congregation, and her melodious heritage includes a great-grandpa who was part of a barbershop quartet.
The Green River High School junior’s repertoire will soon include pieces to perform with other top student singers from six northwestern U.S. states including Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
Chatney auditioned for and has been named to the Northwest American Choral Directors Association’s soprano/alto honor choir for students in 10th through 12th grade. In December, she will receive music in order to start preparing for the NW ACDA “Sharing Our Story” conference March 11-14, 2020, in Spokane, Washington.
Out of tens of thousands of eligible singers in ACDA member choirs in six states, Chatney was one of 500 chosen to represent their choirs, towns, states and the northwest region as the very best, according to the congratulatory letter sent to those honored. Nearly 100 Wyoming students were named to one of the five conference honor choirs. Chatney is the only singer from Sweetwater County. Close to 3,000 students auditioned.
She is excited but also a bit nervous about this opportunity.
“There will be so many talented people I can learn from,” Chatney said.
She is also looking forward to receiving good advice from those same people. In addition to spending time with other top vocalists, Chatney and other choir members will be working with nationally acclaimed directors and will perform in concert.
GRHS director of vocal music Jacob Gantz plans to accompany Chatney to the conference, and she will be staying with a girl from Buffalo, Wyoming.
Chatney has received recognition for her musical talent before, but not on this scale. She was named to the Wyoming Music Educators Association’s all-state honor choir in both her freshman and sophomore years.
As one of three GRHS students who decided to audition for the NW ACDA honor choir, Chatney had to find time in her already busy schedule to practice at the beginning of the school year. She had about a month to prepare, coming in during her limited free time or during lunch break.
At the time, she was also rehearsing for the role of Medda Larkin in the GRHS fall production of “Newsies.” She submitted her honor choir audition via recording and found out at the end of October that she was one of those selected.