'Big honor' bestowed on Baptist youth choir

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Teen musicians nurtured in rural Baptist churches across the state will be honored participants at a national choral directors meeting in Louisville.

The Kentucky Baptist All-State Youth Choir and Orchestra was one of 19 choirs selected to perform at a 2018 American Choral Directors Association conference on Wednesday. More than 80 choirs auditioned for a spot.

"It's a big honor," said Jason Stewart, KBC Worship and Music consultant. "It's also a huge opportunity to sing the gospel and be a witness in a world of music and art."

Stewart said the performance will be the culmination of 30 years for the youth choir and a testament to the vision of founder Dick Ham, former minister of music at First Baptist Church of Richmond. Ham passed away in 2015.

The 75 musicians who make up the all-state choir are a representative of the more than 2,400 churches that work in cooperation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Potential choir members undergo an audition process before being invited to a week of rehearsals in the summer.

"Rehearsing one week and a handful of tour dates makes their selection even more extraordinary," Stewart said.
The youth choir program, sponsored in part by gifts through the Cooperative Program, has impacted the lives of thousands of Kentucky Baptist teens and encouraged many to pursue ministry in music, he said.

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