Anthony Peterson is always looking for new ways to get his choirs recognized. This time, it was by the state governor.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced the West Fargo Sheyenne High School Concert Choir was selected to serve as the 2016-17 Governor's Official State Chorus.
"We thought we would give it a shot," Peterson said, "and it worked out."
The Sheyenne High School Concert Choir, under the direction of Peterson in his third year, is comprised of 47 members from grades 9-12. It performs four formal concerts each year, along with participation in numerous music festivals and competitions including large group, small ensembles, solo and select honor choirs. The students also participate in other school and community events by providing vocal performances of the national anthem, special music for graduation ceremonies, communitywide holiday caroling and various other functions.
Though Peterson isn't entirely sure everything that comes with the selection, he knows the choir will perform during Gov.-elect Doug Burgum's inauguration in early January in Bismarck.
"There was a lot of excitement from some of them, and some of them didn't even know if we would apply so there was a little shock and confusion," Peterson said. "They had heard of this before, so they knew it was a pretty cool honor to get. I think everybody is looking forward to performing there."
Peterson said he applied for the selection and had to provide letters of recommendation as well as a live performance recording from the choir's first concert of the school year in October.
"They're the most dedicated students we have," Peterson said of the choir's members who had to audition to make the group. "They worked very hard to get where they are. It was a great opportunity to show off for the work they're doing."
The Governor's Band, which is the Williston High School Wind Ensemble, and Chorus were selected from applications submitted by school and civic groups from across the state based on musical talent, achievement and community involvement.
"Congratulations to the Williston High School Wind Ensemble and the Sheyenne High School Concert Choir for being named this year's Governor's Official Band and Chorus," Dalrymple said in a press release. "These are two very accomplished organizations and they will represent North Dakota with pride and enthusiasm. They have continued the fine tradition of outstanding musical talent that exists in schools and communities across our state."