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Lakeland High School senior Tavon Walker has been selected for the 2013 Virginia Music Educator Association Honors Choir, which takes only 120 singers from across the state.
Lakeland High School senior Tavon Walker has been selected for the 2013 Virginia Music Educator Association Honors Choir, which takes only 120 singers from across the state.

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Lakeland student in prestigious choir

Published 11:19pm Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Lakeland High School senior has qualified for the 2013 Virginia Music Educator Association Honors Choir — described as an elite group of 120 of Virginia’s best singers.

Tavon Walker, who has been singing since middle school, said he won his spot with the fifth-highest score of all auditioning Bass IIs.

Previously, after making district, he had missed out on inclusion in the state choir after auditioning for that in February.

“Then I started taking (private) voice lessons,” he said. He began with baritone Adam Piper of the Indianapolis Opera, before signing on with soprano Kathryn Kelly, vice president of the Tidewater Opera Initiative.

“Prior to this honors choir audition, I started to get discouraged, because it was a much bigger deal than state,” Walker said.

“(But) I let go of my discouragement, thank God, and I started practicing more, so I dug in and focused on my technique and my songs.”

The hard work and attitude adjustment paid off, for Walker said that during the honors choir audition, he could tell from their reactions that the two judges were impressed as soon as he opened his mouth and began singing.

“I just kept on singing, trying not to be too overjoyed,” he said.

Walker said he scored 91 points from one judge and 84 from the other for a total 175 points from an available 200 — the fifth-highest score for his voice part.

The talented teen will join other choir members Nov. 21-23 for rehearsals at Covington High School and Homestead Hotel and Resort, where the choir will perform Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. for a concert open to the public.

Walker also gets the opportunity to work with Carol Krueger, director of choral activities at Kansas’ Emporia State University.

He plans to study vocal performance and voice teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University and believes the honor choir will help him on the road to earning a living from singing.

Walker’s music teacher at Lakeland, Elise Krepcho, described Walker’s honors choir selection as a “huge deal.”

“When he first started his freshman year, he was completely uncomfortable,” she said, explaining that Walker has pulled himself up by his … vocal chords.

“This is a big deal, because this is what he wants to do with his life. The opportunity to do something like this really is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

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