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Local girl makes TMEA District Choir

Believing your child is gifted is something most parents are guilty of, but having that belief validated is a special moment.
For Anna Marie Nelson, receiving validation of her daughter Grace’s talent is both thrilling and a source of pride.
Grace, a 16-year-old sophomore student at Ennis High School was among 800 students who competed in the Texas Music Education Association’s District Competition held Sept. 27. Her performance earned her a place in the TMEA District Choir and because of her high ranking she also qualified to audition for TMEA’s Regional Choir on Oct. 18.
“Grace was the only student from Ennis to make the district choir and we are very proud of her accomplishments,” Anna Marie said. “I have always thought she had a lot of talent, but it wasn’t until a former opera singer heard her perform that we started getting validation from people that recognized what I had thought all along.”
While visiting her aunt in Oklahoma, Grace performed in a choir where Celeste Barrett, (an 18-year old veteran of the German opera) heard her and encouraged her to audition for the Children’s Musical Theatre in Oklahoma. That performance led to her joining the OK Mozart Choir in Bartlesville, which performs at an international music festival.
Nelson started her vocal training under the direction of Ennis Intermediate choir teacher Cathy Criner. Since her achievements in Oklahoma, she has been studying under the direction of Gail Harrell, a private vocal coach and choir director at Waxahachie High School.
Harrell has been impressed with Nelson’s ability and looks forward to following her career in the upcoming years.
“Grace has an extraordinary vocal range spanning four octaves,” she said. “She is adept in singing a variety of music styles including pop, classical, Broadway and jazz. Being a focused individual with great natural talent, I look forward to following her long and successful involvement in singing, possibly even making it a career choice.”
Nelson recently was cast as the evil stepmother in this past summer’s production of “Snow White” at the Ellis County Children’s Theater and received a notable distinction from her performance.
“The Ellis County group asked the Missoula, Montana, Children’s Theatre Performing Arts Camp group to organize their summer program and from that they have asked Grace to audition for their upcoming summer camp,” Harrell said. “Grace is the only student from Ellis County to be asked to audition for them so it is a big honor.”
Grace is the daughter of Anna Marie and Marty Nelson of Ennis.

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Posted by on Oct 1 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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