Clements Middle choral director Ciara Edge, left, coached eighth-grader Josiah Webb prior to him going to the All-State Middle School Chorus at UGA. Webb was the only middle school student in Newton County to make it to the All-State Middle School Chorus. (Special photo)
COVINGTON – As the only middle school student from Newton County to participate in the 2014 All-State Middle School Chorus, Clements Middle eighth-grade student Josiah Webb has become a well-known singer in his division.
Clements choral director Ciara Edge said that Webb had to go through a rigorous audition process to get into the esteemed All-State Middle School Chorus. Tryouts consisted of memorizing a solo and performing it before two judges, singing three memorized scales in solfeggio and reading three examples of music that he had never seen before with no assistance in less than 30 seconds. Additionally, Webb had to take a written test with listening examples, Italian vocabulary words, tempos, key signatures and other aspects. He was then able to perform before the judges and received a score of 97 percent.
After making the journey to the University of Georgia’s Classic Center in Athens, Webb said he enjoyed performing at the All-State Middle School Chorus in February.
“It was very exciting,” said Webb. “I love to sing and my mom said I was singing since I was 5 years old. I was very surprised when I found out I made All-State. It was definitely worth the work.”
Edge said that Webb showed unwavering dedication prior to All-State, coming before and after school to practice. She added that he was able to make Honor Chorus in addition to All-State, and is a member of Duke University’s Talent Identification Program.
“Only the top 10 percent of singers in the state of Georgia make All-State, and those that do usually end up receiving scholarships,” said Edge. “Josiah is very self-driven. It takes a lot of work to prepare for All-State Chorus. He came in every morning before school and stayed after school, but he really did most of the work on his own. He’s very smart and talented and such a joy to teach.”
Clements Middle Principal Joy Scavella also acknowledged Webb and Edge for their achievements.
“Josiah is an extraordinary young man with exceptional talent,” said Scavella. “We are very proud of his accomplishments and certain that he will go on to do even greater things. We thank Mrs. Edge, his teacher, for providing him with the opportunities to compete and be exposed to such rigor. He has shown us through his effort and hard work what ‘Being the Best’ really means.”
Edge added that Webb intends to continue his singing course when he leaves Clements; he plans to attend Newton High School where he will particpate in chorus after middle school.