A Prestigious Performance for
By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Department
Talented students from Buncombe County were eager to
showcase their work for the whole state this November. Each
year, a handful of musical ensembles are chosen to perform at
the prestigious North Carolina Music Educators Association’s
(NCMEA) annual conference. This year, two of these musical
groups proudly hailed from Buncombe County Schools and
both Roberson High and Cane Creek Middle schools sent
students to perform for the discerning audience in Winston-
Ms. Aleisa Baker, director of the Advanced Choral Ensemble
The Roberson High Advanced Ensemble sings in
at Roberson, called the high-profile performance a “leap of
the Stephens Center.
faith.” Prior to taking the stage, she said, “The faith you have
Photo by Ben Clark
to have in your student singers is the center component of
success. The hours and hours of rehearsal time that go into this level of performance is almost immeasurable.
But when the time comes to step onstage- and I get to look into the eyes of these amazing young people- I know
that together we will make music and memories we will always carry with us.”
Hayley Robertson has been singing at Roberson for four years and said the NCMEA performance was the highlight
of her high school career. “A lot of people don’t understand how big of a deal this is to the performing arts
world,” she explained. “Three North Carolina high school choirs are chosen to perform at this event out of 1,084
The Cane Creek Middle School 8th grade band performed on Sunday of the three day event under the leadership
of Mr. Clif Dodson. In the weeks leading up to their performance, the students added many hours of practice,
even regularly attending Saturday morning practices. The group
performed a composition with special importance to their
community; it was written by Paul Murtha in memory of former
trumpet player and Roberson graduate Kendall Wernet, who
passed away in 2014 at the age of twenty.
Emma Barlowe, a tenor saxophonist, said the experience was
“really hard work but very rewarding.”
“The students love the music and have really connected with
it,” explained Mr. Dodson. “We are so honored to have been
selected and hope we made our fellow teachers in Buncombe
An 8th grade flutist studies her sheet music carefully.
Rehearsal at Cane Creek Middle School.
Roberson students prepare for their big moment.
Photo by Ben Clark