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Annual choir program to mark end of career

The theme for the March 10 “Choir Happening” - “Thank You for the Music” - is appropriate for two veteran White Hall School District choir teachers who are retiring at the end of the school year.

White Hall High School choir students at the White Hall Junior High School ensemble will perform in the annual musical program at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Charlotte Wilson, WHHS choir director for 30 years, and Annette Rushing, junior high choir director for the past 22 years in White Hall, will direct “Choir Happening” for the final time.

“This is not the final show,” emphasized Wilson in an interview. “A lot of kids are worried about that. The new director will carry on the tradition.”

Tickets for the performance are $10, $12 and $15 and will be available at the door. Tickets will also be available in the WHHS lobby from 6-8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, added Wilson.

She said the songs selected for the show include a wide “mix of music, from pop to Broadway.”

The school district’s choral music programs are consistently regarded as among the top programs in the state, with walls at the entry to the choir room at the high school covered with plaques and awards won by choral music students over the years. Additional plaques are stacked on a nearby table.

Rushing’s White Hall students have collected more than 50 overall winner trophies from regional choral performance assessments and more than 1,100 have qualified for All-Regional Junior High Choirs.

“It’s a tradition at White Hall Junior High,” Rushing said said during an interview in 2010.

In addition to their 54 years as music educators, Wilson and Rushing have chaired a number of professional events and judge vocal competitions.

Wilson’s Concert Choir has made three appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Wilson said she and Rushing have repeatedly acknowledged the support of the parents of their choir students over the years, including scores who turn out to help in a variety of roles with the annual “Choir Happening.”