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Kemp Primary chorus gets high-profile gigs

Special photo 
The Kemp Primary School Chorus performed the national anthem during pre-game ceremonies of the March 18 Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks basketball game at Philips Arena.

Special photo The Kemp Primary School Chorus performed the national anthem during pre-game ceremonies of the March 18 Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks basketball game at Philips Arena.

HAMPTON — In its inaugural year, the Kemp Primary School Chorus has performed at the state capitol and at an Atlanta Hawks basketball game.

What takes some music programs years to accomplish has taken this group of second-graders a few months to achieve under Carrie Roberts’ direction.

Roberts has been music teacher at the school in southern Clayton County for the past eight years. She described each of the choir’s performances as an “opportunity of a lifetime.”

“They performed well under pressure,” she said. “The experience will certainly be a cherished memory for years to come for the students, staff members involved and the families of these talented students.”

Amya Smith, 8, said her favorite part of the experience was performing in front of more than 14,000 basketball fans at Philips Arena. She said it helped her get over her shyness.

Roberts said 75-member choir submitted a video audition to the Hawks organization and was chosen to perform this month. The group also had to host a school fundraiser and sell 100 tickets in order to get the invitation.

The choral program is the brainchild of Assistant Principal Dr. Lee Clinton Buddy Jr., who approached Roberts and Principal Dr. Brenda Cloud to help bring the idea to fruition.

Roberts said the goal is to increase interest in education.

“Music is a great tool for teaching in all subject areas,” she said. “I always say, ‘Not everyone is good at everything.’ So as many things as you can expose students to you are more likely to find something they can be successful at.”

Roberts pointed out that students like Smith also just enjoy being on stage.

“I make dance a part of what we do so they’re moving and acting as well,” she said. “The kids are very enthusiastic. They obviously love to sing and perform.”

The choir’s next public performance is its spring musical April 30 and May 1. It will be at the school at 1090 McDonough Road in Hampton. Tickets are free and available by calling 678-610-4300.