Clements Middle School eighth-grader Josiah Webb is now known as one of the elite middle-school singers in Georgia. He is the only student from Newton County Schools to make the pretigious 2014 All-State Middle School Chorus.
According to Clements Middle choral director Ciara Edge, getting into the All-State Chorus is no easy matter. The very challenging auditions consist of memorizing a solo and performing it before two judges, reading three examples of music that have never been seen before — with no assistance and in less than 30 seconds — singing three memorized scales for judges in solfeggio, and taking a written test with listening examples, Italian vocabulary words, tempos, key signatures, and more. And that was just the first audition. He then had to perform before judges again and scored an astounding 97 percent.
"Josiah is very self-driven," Edge said. "It takes a lot of work to prepare for All-State Chorus. He came in every morning before school and stayed after school, but he really did most of the work on his own. He’s very smart and talented and such a joy to teach."
Edge added that Josiah actually made two choruses—All-State and Honor Chorus. "Only the top 10 percent of singers in the state of Georgia make All-State," she said. "And those who do usually end up receiving scholarships."
Josiah said he enjoyed performing at the All-State Chorus event last month at The University of Georgia Classic Center in Athens.
"It was very exciting," he said. "I love to sing, and my mom said I was singing since I was 5 years old. I was very surprised when I found out I made All-State. It was definitely worth the work."
"Josiah is an extraordinary young man with exceptional talent," said Joy Scavella, principal of Clements Middle School. "We are very proud of his accomplishments and certain that he will go on to do even greater things. We thank Mrs. Edge, his teacher, for providing him with the opportunities to compete and be exposed to such rigor. He has shown us through his effort and hard work what ‘Being the Best’ really means."