GREEN RIVER — For Green River High School student Chatney Tirrell, singing is in her DNA. Music has been in her family for generations and her own legacy is beginning to take shape. Recently, Tirrell was named to the All-Northwest ACDA Honor Choir.
Every two years, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) hosts regional conventions that serve to host outstanding performing choirs from around a six state region. Tirrell was selected for the Northwest region which includes vocalists from Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Idaho. Internationally renowned choral pedagogs are invited to conduct the choirs that are handpicked. The students then rehearse with the experts for three days and then provide a concert.
Tirrell was selected as a participant by ACDA directors after taping an audition with her teacher Jacob Gantz. Her audition tape included singing two scales on solfege and an excerpt from one of the performance pieces.
The rest is history.
“I was very shocked to find out I had been accepted into ACDA. When my teacher, Mr. Gantz, first told me I was selected, I honestly thought it was a joke,” Tirrell said.
According to Gantz, Wyoming singers are a minority among the 500 participants that are selected. Tirrell will join 100 other Soprano and Alto voices from the six states. She is humble and ready to learn from the best voices in the region.
The Benefits of Music
Tirrell remembers the first solo she ever sang. When she was three, she recalls singing in front of her church congregation. Since then, she has expanded her talents and now writes her own music and lyrics.
“Music, especially singing, is how I express myself and communicate emotions and thoughts I wouldn’t normally speak to people about,” Tirrell said. “It is such a significant part of my identity and I would not be who I am today without it.
“When I am singing, I don’t have to be anyone but myself. I have learned to be confident in myself and that I don’t have to change who I am to fit someone else’s idea of who I’m supposed to be.”
Along with an identity, Tirrell has found that music allows her the opportunity to help others feel what she feels every time she hums her favorite tune or writes lyrics.
“I love sharing my talents and passions to allow other people to feel the same joy those passions bring me everyday,” Tirrell said.
A Special Talent
Gantz would be the first to point out Tirrell’s special talent. Although he is new to GRHS, he has taken notice of Tirrell’s unique work ethic and determination to reach her goals.
“I recognized her strong work ethic and her determination almost immediately,” Gantz said. “She is an incredibly gifted musician. She is also hardworking, and possesses a musical intuition that can not be taught. Chatney has excellent vocal control and an attention to detail; such as technique, timbre, and intonation, that is a model to her peers.
“Many students try throughout their career to attain an honor such as this; Chatney met the challenge with confidence and hard work. I am exceedingly impressed by her abilities and could not be happier that her practice, attention to detail, and focus have been rewarded.”
Although Tirrell has accomplished much as a musician, she has a few other worthy goals worth noting. Currently, she is working towards being a four-year All-State Choir student. Another long-term goal she has in her sights is to obtain a college education.
While Tirrell now awaits her time to join the choir, she will prepare for her trip to Spokane, Washington by learning and memorizing her music over the next three months. Until then, enjoying the present and making the most of what is to come is her focus.