When you hear the words “Future Farmers of America,” most people don’t normally think of singing. So this story really struck my attention.
Daviess County High School senior and FFA chapter president Hunter Anne Julian has been accepted to the 2015 National FFA Chorus, which means she will perform at the 2015 National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville in October.
Selection to the national chorus is highly competitive and is based on teacher recommendations and a rigorous audition where judges evaluate voice quality. The fact that Hunter Anne is one of only 80 students from across the nation to be selected for this chorus proves what a big deal that is. In fact, you’d have to look all the way back to 1955 to find the last DCHS student to earn this recognition.
But the most amazing part of this story is that the DCHS student who was selected in ’55 was none other than Julian’s grandfather – C.A. “Ottie” Pantle.
“My grandfather was a part of the National FFA Chorus his senior year of high school and often expressed his desire to see me become a part of the chorus,” Julian said. “Being able to follow in his footsteps makes this accomplishment even more special.”
So as you can see, Hunter Anne has a long family background in agriculture. “My family had a cattle farm,” Julian said. “I’ve been raised with both, music and ag. But I’d say I had a greater interest in music first.”
It wasn’t until she joined FFA in high school that Julain decided she wanted to be involved in agriculture for the rest of her life.
Making the National FFA Chorus is “the best of both worlds” for Julian. Hunter Anne and the rest of the chorus will perform 5-6 times throughout the National FFA Convention. She says she’s looking forward to meeting people from all over the country.
Julian credits her FFA advisors and vocal music teachers for her success. “I auditioned last year for the National FFA Chorus and did not make the cut,” she said. “This motivated me to work even harder with my voice lesson teacher, Mrs. Sheila Ann Miller; and choir director Mrs. Candy Miller. My FFA advisors (Jason Smith, Chad Askins and Craig Howard) encouraged me to audition again for the chorus. They always talk about being persistent and never settling for anything less than 100 percent. Like always, they were right!”
Hunter Anne said her participation as a member of the DCHS FFA chapter has provided skills that will benefit her far beyond high school. “FFA is my extended family,” she said. “Like most families we all have many interests, like music, but all have a passion to improve agriculture in general. My advisors are always there to motivate me, support me and help me to excel, both in and out of the classroom, and to reach my full potential. My FFA experience has helped me become a better public speaker, a better leader and a better advocate for agriculture.”