Musician of the week – Jaelin Worthen, Ari Gardner and Travis Terry
Jaelin Worthen, Ari Gardner and Travis Terry, all juniors at Virgin Valley High School, are members of the Virgin Valley High School Chamber Choir.
They were selected by blind recorded audition to perform in the American Choral Directors Association’s Western Division Honor Choirs held in Long Beach, California in early March 2022. The students passed three days rehearsing with renowned conductors and presented a concert at the closing of the ACDA convention. .
Jaelin Worthen first became involved in choir in fourth grade when she joined the Virgin Valley Elementary School choir with Mrs. Bennett. While in elementary school, she was also part of several musicals, some across the community directed by Susan Bennet and others through Virgin Valley Elementary School with Jenny Bennett. She first became involved with the guitar in sixth grade at Charles Hughes Middle School with Mr. Rhoden. Once she started Virgin Valley High School in ninth grade, she joined Chamber Guitar and Chamber Choir with Ms. Palmer. She was also part of the ACDA Western Region Honor Choir in 2020 and 2022.
“I got involved in choir and guitar because I thought it sounded so cool and music was part of my life since I was little,” Jaelin said. “All my teachers allowed me to grow and create incredible memories through music. What I love most about music is being able to express myself and it allows me to connect with strangers through something that we both share. I love that music allows me to see the raw emotion behind a track, it makes it all the more powerful and lets you connect. Music allowed me to meet incredible teachers who had a very positive impact on my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t have some form of music in my life.
Ari Gardner was born into a family of musicians and has always enjoyed this aspect of her life. She is currently part of the VVHS Chamber Choir, Orchestra, Jazz Band and Concert Band.
She joined the orchestra in sixth grade playing the cello. In eighth grade, she started playing the piano in the jazz band. In ninth grade, she then began singing in a choir and playing percussion in a band.
“I really like the stress relief I get from music,” Ari said. “There’s something about singing or sitting at the piano playing songs that helps clear my head. I’ve also had the chance to meet some really wonderful friends who are also part of ensembles.
Travis Terry has been involved in music since he was very young. Around the age of four, he was singing the national anthem at wrestling tournaments. Around college age, he began to learn trumpet and guitar, became involved in choirs, and played the piano. He has a very musical family, so he thinks he has a certain talent for music and just an overall appreciation for the music that has surrounded him all his life.
He is currently involved with the VVHS Chamber Choir and the VVHS Jazz Band playing trumpet. In the past, he has been involved with church choirs, school musicals, college bands, and honor choirs that have performed in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Long Beach, California.
“I love music because of the community and the performance,” Travis said. “Musical communities are still very diverse and accepting. Everyone has to work together to be able to perform a piece well, so there is always a feeling of family when involved in these groups. I love being able to play and then listen to our performances again. It’s so cool to me what we can do together as musicians when we all work together to share our song.
Jaelin Worthen, Ari Gardner and Travis Terry (Photo credit: Marie Palmer)