Entertainers showcase talents during recent competition, receive top award


GRAFTON—The Grafton High School Entertainers hit the stage recently, and members showcased their singing and dancing talents.

When the musical group performed at Robert C. Byrd High School’s Vocalfest, the judges were wowed, and the Entertainers took home a Grand Champion Title, for their show that was choreographed by Adrienne Kunce.

Competing against not only local groups but some from as far away as North Carolina and Mississippi, the Entertainers shone on stage, under the direction of Duretha Mayle.

Out of the 11 high school show choirs, the GHS Entertainers were named Grand Champions of their class and also earned a sixth-place overall finish.

During the day, Madison Kisner was chosen as the best performer from the group.

“The students have worked very hard this year on all aspects of their show, and I am very proud of them for persevering, as well as for their dedication and commitment,” expressed Mayle. “They improved leaps and bounds from their first competition at South Harrison. They truly left it on the stage on Saturday.”

GHS Principal Lori Shumaker also voiced her pride of the Entertainers and their performance saying, “I had the opportunity to watch the Entertainers perform at RCB today. I was so enthralled that I forgot to even take a picture.”

She went on to say, “The performance was excellent. I have watched you this year, learn the songs, learn the choreography and put it all together. I see the time you have put in to be great. Your performance reflects your work ethic and passion.”

Shumaker went on to thank Mayle and her team for their love and commitment they have for the program, even acknowledging the unsung heroes of the show choir world.

“To the stage crew, your willingness to devote the time and energy and not get the applause is a testament to your character,” she voiced. “I am so proud of each and every one of you! #BearcatProud!”

Mayle said that the group is excited to hitting the stage in their next competition in Martinsburg on March 21, followed by the WV State Show Choir Competition in Morgantown on March 28.

Before taking the stage in Martinsburg, three talented Entertainers will be taking on a larger stage at the 2020 All State Choir conference, at Charleston Civic Center.

Each year, high school students from around the state audition for the special honor, and this year, Grafton High School had three students selected. 

Mayle revealed that in order to audition, students must be directed by a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAFME). Students are first selected to represent their high school, and then they move on to audition at the regional level.

“Once selected, the students then travel to Charleston for a three-day intensive rehearsal with all of the students and a guest director,” said Mayle.

All of their hard work and dedication culminates in a special performance on Saturday, March 7. 

“Not only is it a chance for students to delve deeper into a higher music level, but students meet and make friends from all over the state and enjoy making music with the best of the best,” Mayle voiced. “I am so proud of our students who have accomplished this spectacular honor!”

A big congratulations goes out to Kassidy Simmons, Emily Rock and Elias Rubenstein, who were all selected for the 2020 NAFME All State Choir, and will represent Grafton High School, the city and the county in Charleston.

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