The young men have all been working under the direction of Kim Watters, director of choral activities at Gordon Central High School. Eight are presently students at Gordon Central, two are students at Ashworth Middle School, five are Gordon Central alumni, one attends Adairsville High and one is a Calhoun High alumni.
The young men sang with Georgia Spirit, a youth team sponsored by Atlanta Vocal Project. “Atlanta Vocal Project is an international Barbershop choir ranked in the top 10 Barbershop choirs in the world,” said Watters “Their head director, Clay Hine is an international barbershop quartet winner and offers a tremendous amount of skill and knowledge to our young men.”
The team has been practicing for several months in preparation for the contest held in Tucson, AZ. The event hosts choirs from all over the world and enters the choirs in three tiers due to the average age of the singers.
Plateau A means the average age of all singers on stage is under 19, plateau AA the average age is under 22, plateau AAA the average age is 25. No singer can be over the age of 30. Choirs ranking 68 or above are excellent and choirs of 75 or above are ranked superior.
Georgia Spirit competed in the plateau A level and ranked a 74.6, narrowly missing the superior mark. The group placed second in their plateau and fifth in the world in the overall contest.
”400 singers supplied 15 choirs this year. Plateau A had 8 choirs alone. We were very excited about our placement and ranking,” said Watters. “With only one team to beat in our plateau, we felt very good about our progress as a team. We also placed higher than many teams with much older and more experienced barbershop singers.”
Next year’s mid-winter convention will be held in Orlando, Fla., and the Georgia Spirit members of the Gordon county area are already making plans to compete.
“We are excited about the possibilities when the world comes to our back yard next year for mid-winter,” she said.
Team members from Gordon County on the 2012 Georgia Spirit Team are: Cohen Garland, Joseph Hornyak, Briggs Garland, Spencer Harris, Kevin Garland, Josh Lance, Austin Harris, J.J. Winston, Brian Kaleb Harris, Taylor J. Sisson, Philip McCown, Shyloh Chavez, Chas Waters, Matt Schmit, Tucker Bryant, Alex Thomas and Frankie Parker.