Three Notables receive honors at Tri-County Youth Festival

The Notables perform at the Michael Stiars Memorial Concert on May 5, 2022- Joey Kauffman ’23

Members of the Notables dominated the voice category of the Tri-County Youth Festival, a prestigious competition for high school-aged musicians in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Participants compete in various categories such as piano, ensemble, strings, and winds. The Notables had the most success in senior voice during the April auditioning period.

Fifth Formers Roch Parayre and Harvey Pennington and Sixth Former Charles Witmer were among those recognized.

“I thought that it was really cool, you know, that we had three [members] in the top three,” said Pennington, who received an honorable mention for senior voice.

The singers’ success at the Tri-County Youth Festival speaks for itself. Parayre, Pennington, and Witmer were among many other participants judged by professional judges. They competed for monetary awards and a possible chance to participate in the live winners’ recital, taking place June 4 at West Chester University. All three Notables placed in the top three in the senior voice category, an impressive achievement.

“It was pretty cool to see, considering that we’re going up against males and females,” Pennington said.

Females typically develop their voices a lot earlier than boys, making the Fords’ success even more impressive. 

Most of them had their first exposure to music in their childhood and have been singing ever since. 

“I wanted to play [piano] ever since I was three. I think my mom put me in lessons when I was five.”

Roch Parayre ’23

Parayre was entranced by music from a very young age: “I wanted to play [piano] ever since I was three. I think my mom put me in lessons when I was five,” Parayre said, who placed first in the competition.

It is no surprise the three Notables all found success. Whether they are honing their vocal skills on their own, singing with the Notables, or working with their private singing coaches, these three spend a large chunk of time singing. 

“I sing several times a week with the Notables at concerts and at practices. I take weekly voice lessons, and I sort of sing at home frequently,” Parayre said. Besides all having a great voice, they all participated in this competition for one common reason.

“I found out about it from my voice teacher, [and] she thought it would be a good thing for me to try out,” Pennington said.