3 bring home state music competition awards

Published 9:51 am Thursday, July 30, 2020

The National Federation of Music Clubs hosts 13 Junior Festival Music events in North Carolina each year as part of the national program.

More than 4,000 students competed state-wide in local events.  Winners continued on to the NFMC State Finals.  Local students, from the music studio of Teresia Ann Queen  of Advance and the Wake Forest district, brought home three state titles.

The Sara Copley Moore Folk Singing award was won by Ryan Fussell, daughter of Matt and Alison Fussell of Advance. Ryan won the Wake Forest Junior Festival in the vocal American Patriotic/Folk Songs category. She is a rising senior at Davie High School and sang with the Davie Madrigal Singers and vocal ensemble groups under the direction of Elaine Snow.  This past school year she sang under the direction of Brittany Darst in the Davie Show Choir and vocal ensemble. Ryan enjoys singing, learning to play the keyboard, photography, playing golf and spending time with family and friends.  Her plans include attending UNC Charlotte in the fall of 2021.  She is a member of Pinedale Christian Church.

Ryan won the state title and award with her performances of the folk ballad “Shenandoah” and a lyric performance of “America, the Beautiful.”

Hymn playing is another of the many NFMC state finals categories. There are five classes in this category and for a second year in a row, two of the state titles were won by local Wake Forest festival winners, brother and sister, Natalie and Jeffrey Lyons. Their parents are Mike and Karen Lyons of Clemmons, and Clemmons Presbyterian is their church home. Jeffrey, a rising 10th grader at West Forsyth High, won the Carolyn Jones Summerlin Hymn Cup Class II title for North Carolina.  Jeffrey likes to bike and also enjoys playing tennis and plays on the West Forsyth tennis team.  He is an active member of Clemmons Presbyterian Church and sings with the CPC Youth Choir.  Jeffrey is a six year member of the National Federation of Music and his winning competition music included the two popular contemporary Christian songs “10,000 Reasons” and “As the Deer.”  Jeffrey has won nine nationally recognized gold cups for excellence in piano performance from the NFMC.

The Class III Hymn Playing event was won by West Forsyth High rising senior, Natalie Lyons.  She is the 2020 state title winner for the Peggy Robinson Matthews Hymn award.  Her winning performances included the traditional hymn “The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” and a Hebrew selection from the required list, “Ose Shalom.”  Natalie has also earned nine gold cups from the NFMC, which recognizes her musical excellence in piano performance.  Her future plans include college after high school graduation with a major in biology or forensic anthropology.   She enjoys reading, listening to music, participating in youth group and youth retreats with Clemmons Presbyterian Church and playing percussion in the West Forsyth Wind Ensemble. Natalie also plays percussion for the CPC church Christmas and Easter cantatas.

Natalie and Jeffrey serve as youth church musicians at Clemmons Presbyterian.