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Trip to 'Nationals' helps Kasson-Mantorville student bring love of music to others

Since going to Nationals, Greta Wright performed in a choir of nearly 1,000 singers at the Dorian Vocal Festival at Luther College.

Greta Wright
Kasson-Mantorville senior Greta Wright works with first-graders in Abbie Budin's music class Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, at Kasson-Mantorville Elementary School in Kasson. Last fall, Wright was named to the All-National Honor Choir.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
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KASSON — When Greta Wright went to Maryland last November to sing with some of the best high school vocalists from around the country, she felt incredibly average. And she considers that a good thing.

The Kasson-Mantorville senior was selected to be in the All-National Honor Choir, becoming part of a select group of singers. According to the National Association for Music Education, Wright was one of only two singers from Minnesota selected for the choir ensemble this year.

"I didn't feel like I was struggling to keep up. I didn't feel like it was too easy," she said. "I felt challenged."

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Being selected for the choir included listening to presentations, taking part in vocal rehearsals and performing in a choir of more than 200 singers.

The theme for this year was "Hope," something that resonated for a group of students living in tumultuous times. While remembering the experience, she highlighted the song "Can We Bring the Darkness to Light."

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It was a unifying experience.

"It was about violence and hatred in the world and being able to put all of that down and have peace," Wright said about the song. "That felt really powerful as I was sitting next to kids from Georgia, as I was sitting next to kids from Pennsylvania — essentially kids from all around the country."

Before ever being accepted to the All-National Honor Choir, Wright participated in the Minnesota All-State Honor Choir.

She has yet to decide on a college, but she wants to study voice and flute, with the hope of performing for film scores.

Wright has been involved with music since she was young. She considers music is a way to connect with people. And, it has started taking her to some exciting places.

Since going to Nationals, Wright performed in a choir of nearly 1,000 singers at the Dorian Vocal Festival at Luther College. On a much smaller scale, she works as a peer tutor at Kasson-Mantorville Elementary School, helping students less than half her age learn music while standing in a circle.

"It reaches feelings and emotions that talking sometimes can't," she said. "And that's a really beautiful thing about music."

Jordan Shearer covers K-12 education for the Post Bulletin. A Rochester native, he graduated from Bemidji State University in 2013 before heading out to write for a small newsroom in the boonies of western Nebraska. Bringing things full circle, he returned to Rochester in 2020 just shy of a decade after leaving. Readers can reach Jordan at 507-285-7710 or jshearer@postbulletin.com.
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