Orchestra and chorus students featured at teacher of the year celebration


Courtesy of Nathan Kufchak

Selected students from the Starr’s Mill High School orchestra and chorus perform “You Raise me Up” by Josh Groban at the 2022 teacher of the year celebration. Starr’s Mill was the only school in the county to be asked to perform at the ceremony.

Adeline Harper, Staff Writer

Last night, 18 students from Starr’s Mill High School orchestra and chorus performed at the 2022 teacher of the year celebration hosted at New Hope South Baptist Church. The students were picked by the directors for skill and work ethic to represent the fine arts program. 

“This is a really great opportunity to showcase the hard work our students have put in this year,” orchestra director Nathan Kufchak said. “We have been working hard and it is awesome to see that the county level people making decisions are aware of how great the students sound. It is amazing to have the county-level support for our orchestra and chorus programs.”

Freshman Delani Gatson (bass) and Ryan Sexton (cello), sophomores Owen Sexton (violin 1), Ethan Beaulieu (violin 2), Adeline Harper (viola), and McAlister Stanford (cello), juniors Elise Gimpert (violin 2), Lucas Nyman (violin 2), Derrilyn Maxey (viola), and Richard Wang (cello), and seniors Brandon Park (violin 1), Jodie Stone (violin 1), Paul Yi (violin 1), Mary Despyler (viola), and Dalton Bird (cello) all played. 

Sophomore Didi Stone (tenor), juniors Annabell Orndorff (soprano) and KitCat Siguenza (alto), and senior Corbin McEver (Bass) accompanied the musicians. 

Choral director Dr. John Odom chose “You Raise Me Up” as the performance piece, which was made famous by Josh Groban. 

“This piece really speaks to the raising up of students in teaching them and how it affects their progression in life,” Kufchak said. 

Rising Starr Middle School teacher Christy Todd took home the night’s top honor, earning Fayette County Teacher of the Year.