The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

ENMU choir camp welcomes passionate singers


Eamon Scarbrough

Students sing "Way Over in Beulah Lan'" by Stacey Gibbs.

PORTALES — Passion brought many of the 120 high school students to the Eastern New Mexico University Choir Camp this week.

The camp, which began Monday and culminates in a concert at 2 p.m. today in Buchanan Hall, is an opportunity for singers across New Mexico to improve in vocal performance and prepare for all-state auditions in the fall, said ENMU Director of Choral Activities Jason Paulk.

Ryan Boddy, 16, of Farmington acknowledged the camp's role in his placing at all-state, and touted singing as what helped him become who he is today.

"It unlocked this extra feature in me I never knew I had. I started music two years ago, and it changed me. That's what I'm gonna go to college for, because it changed my life," he said.

Quinn Holman, 16, of Farmington, discovered in choir an opportunity for meaningful self-expression.

"It helps me to express myself in a non-negative way, and it helps me kind of distract myself from the school stress and other stresses," she said, adding that she hoped to improve her sight singing skills at the camp.

Zachary McAlister, 15, of Carlsbad, returned to the camp after making friends and receiving help with his all-state audition last year. He credited singing with helping him to forget "all the negative things in the past and bringing good things in the future."

Christian Fox, 17, of Clovis hadn't been to the camp before, and hoped to expand on what he referred to as his purpose.

"Before that, I just did nothing — go through school, go home, play video games for the rest of the day. I'm planning on majoring in music," he said.

The fire burning within the young participants is what keeps Paulk looking forward to the camp year after year, he said.

"Their enthusiasm keeps me fired up and eager to continue teaching the next generation of choral leaders. I joke with my former students who teach with us at choir camp now, because their students are my musical 'grandchildren.' I look forward to seeing many more generations experience choir camp at ENMU," he said.


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