A Musician in the Making

Paige Lesko

Music is a large part of our lives. It’s played on our phones, on our TV shows, and in blockbuster hit movies. For some, music is what they eat, sleep, and breathe. Junior Tate McElhaney is one of those people in which music has made him who he is today.

“It sounds cliché but I truly have been singing forever. I can’t imagine a life without it,” McElhaney said. His love and dedication to music has lead him to some great places with some challenging tasks. “I spent two years training at Pittsburgh CLO to truly immerse myself in theatrical training and expand upon my musical career,” said McElhaney.

Involved in Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Men’s Ensemble, and even the Musical, McElhaney finds refuge in center stage where he is most comfortable. “My favorite role would have to be the Captain in Titanic because it challenged me to be a diverse and flexible character in a spectacular show,” he said.

In fact, McElhaney doesn’t just sing for himself, he does it for the positive impact it has on others. “Music has the ability to bring everyone together, so I would say my favorite part about singing is how it can make people feel and the impact it has on me and the audience,” said McElhaney.

With that, McElhaney enjoys being a part of the big picture. Belonging to choir is that big picture that put the pieces in place for him, “Choir truly becomes a family and everyone is truly working together to get the best possible product as possible. I recommend choir for anyone who is looking for a place to connect with their peers to create an outcome that they are proud of,” said McElhaney.

Valuable opportunities such as this are what make the Greater Latrobe Music Department so successful in representation and performance. This distinguished reputation is exactly what students like McElhaney strive to uphold. “I have gotten to travel to several adjudications to which Latrobe has received stellar results. We have also been recognized by some icons in the choir realm such as Eric Whitacre and Alice Parker,” said McElhaney. Each of these music aficionado legends who happen to be world-renowned composers of music have praised the choir ensembles for their skill and breathtaking performance.

For students like McElhaney, this honor is one that only enforces the importance of the music programs in our high school  “Choir is so important to our school because it provides a place for everyone. The choir department is so incredibly accepting of anyone who is willing to put in their best effort that makes Latrobe’s choir a force to be reckoned with,” said McElhaney.

Being a devoted member of the choir ensembles, his skill has been developed and refined making him an asset to the program and competition amongst students in other districts.

This skill came in handy when McElhaney auditioned for the PMEA District Choir Festival, which is a prestigious event where only the best audition to be selected to perform a set of challenging repertoire in a concert with a guest conductor. “I’m honored! To be recognized for your talent and hard work is always an awesome thing to be proud of,” said McElhaney after being selected for the ensemble. McElhaney’s representation ranking second as a bass two at the PMEA District Choir Festival, along with Cecilia Long ranking first as a soprano one, and Anna Mowery ranking seventh as a soprano two. Each student successfully moved on to the PMEA Region Festival, and even more prestigious auditioned ensemble. “I’m most excited to meet other people that have a similar connection music as I do. I’m excited to perform at regionals for the first time so I can prove my hard work once again and sing with other musicians just like myself,” said McElhaney. Indeed successful, McElhaney and his peers are a prime example of the Greater Latrobe Choir’s impressive legacy.