Soddy-Daisy High School senior soprano Marissa Olejniczak and junior tenor Austin Faulkner will sing outside local Walmart, Bi-Lo and Publix stores in late December and January to raise money to travel to Phoenix, Ariz.
The two were selected in late fall to be part of the OAKE National Honors Choir March 14-18. Olejniczak said only about 150 students from across the United States will make up the choir.
"Both students are planning a music career," said SDHS choir director Cathy May, who plans to travel to Arizona too. "They are outstanding choir students, the kind you'd like to clone. I believe we are the only ones from Hamilton County and Tennessee attending."
Tickets are $2,500 each, so the trio hopes to raise all $7,500. To go to the Grand Canyon costs $500 more each.
Upon arriving in Arizona the students will quickly go on location to a sound check.
"If you don't know your note once you get there, then they send you home without a refund," said Faulkner. "Ms. May will practice with us by singing the wrong note while we sing the right note, so we will be prepared for other people to mess up without messing us up. Ms. May is also helping us with pronunciations of songs in different languages."
Olejniczak said as a freshman she was selected for the National Honor Choir performance in Washington, D.C., as well.
"We had tapes to practice with and learned the music there over five days of rehearsals," she said. "We had two rehearsals per day in the morning and afternoon."
Olejniczak and Faulkner said they both prefer to sing spirituals and gospel music, but they are still waiting on their music to arrive before practicing for the National Honors Choir. Both singers plan to major in music in college.
"We are learning how to improvise harmony in class now," said Faulkner. "We are sight reading notes in class."
Faulkner said the SDHS Choir always needs monetary donations. A big need now is new speakers for the choir room, he said.