MECCA Goes to Greece
The Highlands Youth Ensemble has been invited to participate in the 2014 Festival of the Aegean on the island of Syros, Greece! This two-week residency includes daily rehearsals with international conductors, and at least four performing opportunities, including both solo concerts and collaborations with other international choirs. 

​​The Highlands Youth Ensemble has been invited to perform TWO solo, “Sunset Concerts”. One concert will take place in the beautiful St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Hermoupolis (Ermoupoli), and the other will be held at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary’s Birth in the village of Chroussa (Xroussa).

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MECCA Blood Drive
Join friends, families, and singers from the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy choirs for our first blood and bone marrow drive. Donors must be seventeen or older (or sixteen with parental permission), and weigh at least 110 pounds. Please eat a good meal before donating. Each donor will receive a T-shirt, and entertainment will be provided! There will also be hotdogs and snacks available for all attending! 

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© 2013 Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy​

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Highlands Youth Ensemble RETURNS to Carnegie Hall!
This June the Highlands Youth Ensemble returned to Carnegie Hall to perform in TWO concerts.  Here is the review for their portion of the June 11 concert:

June 11, 2016

Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) continued their mission of bringing talented young ensembles to Carnegie Hall to give these youngsters the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their talents in one of the world’s premiere concert halls. This concert, entitled Echoes of Deserts and Mountains featured the Highlands Youth Ensemble choir from Tennessee (also Virginia!), the Odem High School Wind Ensemble from Texas, the Colorado Spring Youth Symphony from Colorado, and Wajima Wadaiko Toranosuke from Japan!

The Highlands Youth Ensemble, led by Jane Deloach Morison, opened the night. They offered five short works, Jubilate Deo by Peter Anglea (b. 1988), O Vos Omnes, an adaption of Lamentations 1:12 (Vulgate) by Pablo Casals (1876-1973), Haec Dies from William Byrd (1540-1623), Psalm 8, as set by Dan Forrest (b. 1978), and Gloria by André Thomas (b. 1952).

The first thing one observed about the Highlands ensemble was that the ratio of women to men was quite high – the young women outnumbered their male counterparts by nearly three to one! Happily, there were very few issues with ensemble balance, and they blended well throughout. It would have been good if the ensemble had projected more sound – this is something common for small ensembles accustomed to singing at much smaller venues. This concern aside, this ensemble was well prepared and gave highly polished performances. Highlights for this listener were the energetic Jubilate Deo and the beautiful Psalm 8 (with violinist Natalie Lugo). After the Gloria (with kudos for soloists Sarah Shipp and Brenna Williams), the large audience gave the singers a standing ovation.

Congratulations to the Highlands Youth Ensemble!