Music will be in the air as Otte Blair Middle Schools hosts Sing Around Nebraska on Saturday. This is the first time the district has hosted the event, according to Molly Willing, OBMS vocal music director.
OBMS will host 90 fourth through sixth grade students from various schools around the area. Students were nominated by their teachers and auditioned to be selected.
Ten students from OBMS will participate in the event. Willing said she auditioned 30 students.
“We had a ton that wanted to be involved and it always hurts your heart that you can't take every single one of them,” she said.
Students will spend the entire day at OBMS preparing with a clinician before performing a public concert at 4 p.m. in the OBMS gym. The concert is open to the public.
The decision to host the event was last minute, Willing said.
“I looked at the list of sites and there was nothing closer to eastern Nebraska than Lincoln. What are all these small towns going to do without places to go?” she said.
After getting approval from Principal Chris Stogdill and Supt. Randy Gilson, Blair was added as a location.
“We're very excited that they let us do it because now it can maybe become a regular thing,” Willing said.
Sing Around Nebraska is organized by the Nebraska Choral Directors Association and offers an honor choir experience for younger students.
“High schoolers, middle schoolers have lots of those experiences, but little kids really don't ever get that experience,” Willing said.
Students practice the music for weeks leading up to the day of the event. All of the work is done before or after school.
Willing, who attended Sing Around Nebraska as a fifth-grader, said the experience will be something the students won't soon forget.
“I remember every song we sang and that was the first moment where I remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh this is amazing' and with all these kids that like to sing and its the most glorious sound,” she said.