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July 10--  For the second time in his high school career, Vidalia High School senior Luke Stinnett has been selected to sing with the All-National Honor Ensemble Mixed Choir by the National Association of Music Education.

lukestinnetLuke will join students from all 50 states in a concert this Fall in Orlando, "It's a distinct honor to be representing Vidalia.  It may not mean much to anybody else, but it's a pretty big deal.  It's a big community and you get to go and meet other people and find out what other interests besides music that you have."

He credits Vidalia High School music director John Morgan with inspiring him to reach his potential as a bass singer, "You know some days I was just done and I wanted the day to be over with.  Mr. Morgan's class was the second to last class of the day and I just had fun in his class.  It's just absolutely great to have Mr. Morgan as a teacher and to me personally as a friend," Luke said.

John Morgan, meanwhile, is proud of his All-State Chorus member, "Luke is one of the finest young men we've ever had in our choir program.  I"m so glad he stepped up to the plate and decided to lend his talent to the Vidalia High School choral program. I'm so glad our school system recognizes the diversity of our school population.  Without these fine arts programs, it would be impossible for some of these kids to find a good motivation to come to school, plus they find a social group they can be part of and become a team member."

Michelle Stinnett, Luke's mom, thanked the school system for investing in a diverse curriculum, "I think a community without any kind of art education is a sad thought.  It's an outlet for these kids and you just don't know who's going to walk through your door in an art class, a theater class, a choir class or in a metal shop class, you don't know who you're going to get and what you're going to unlock."

The Vidalia school board recognized and congratulated Luke at its July board meeting Tuesday.

The board also heard a request from Toombs County Family Connection to help it fund an after-school program for at-risk kids when the program is scheduled to resume in September.  A decision is expected in the next few weeks.  The Toombs County school board has already pledged to spend up to $75,000.

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