Choir showcases area talent

Luke Wyatt, Plainsmen Post Staff

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For the first time in several years Frank Phillips College is home to a local choir. The choir is not necessarily a college choir, yet does accept college students into it’s ranks. The Panhandle Youth Choir (PYC) was officially founded in September of 2016 by former Borger High School Choir Director Johnny Miller. After his retirement from BHS, he decided to start a choir for youth who had no other choral opportunities.

“The choir is about meeting a need. There is a need in the Tex

Mercedes Ott
The Panhandle Youth Choir, under the direction of Johnny Miller, practices in the FPC Auditorium.

as Panhandle to serve students who are talented in the art of singing and have no place to express it,” Miller said.

Miller noted that nearby cities, such as Fritch and Stinnett, do not have choirs at all. It is for youth in these areas, as well as Borger students that just want an extra chance to practice vocal technique.

“Many communities in the Panhandle of Texas don’t offer choir in the school district,” Miller said.

Rebekah King, a mother of one of the choir members, was happy for her son to enter the choir.

“I was very excited to hear about the Panhandle Youth Choir because my eldest child had just in the last year become pretty interested in doing that kind of thing,” King said.

King had also noticed the lack of options for choral students in the Texas Panhandle.

“I love that he (Johnny Miller) recognized that factor that there were a lot of kids, whether they were homeschooled or kids from much smaller schools that just were not getting that opportunity,” King said.

As a singer herself, King is please that youth have the chance to participate in a choir.

“I’m excited for my son to be able to do it; but, also just knowing how important that’s been in my life, I’m really pleased that other kids are going to have that opportunity to do that too,” King said.

While the choir began with around 20 youth, within a few short months that number rose to 70 in January. Even before this astounding growth, Miller was looking to the future and possibilities of touring abroad.

“We’ll just take it nice and slow and develop it as we go and it will grow,” Miller said.

Also hoping for this growth, King said she believes that Borger is the perfect home for the Panhandle Youth Choir.

“We are a big enough town, I think, to have some things like this,” King said.

Finally, Miller would like to thank FPC leadership for allowing the PYC to make it’s home at Frank Phillips College.

“Dr. Hicks and Dr. Carroll have been more than gracious about being helpful in many areas of need,” Miller said.

Miller said he is happy to be continuing his work in music, even after his retirement, and is proud of his new youth choir.

“I’m glad to have the opportunity to continue my passion,” Miller said.

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Choir showcases area talent