SPRING HILL — Morgan Burburan has been a chorus director for less than a year. She says she's not quite a first-year teacher, she's "a first-six-month teacher."
But Burburan landed at West Hernando Middle School running and has already taken her singers to an out-of-county performance.
She and her 38-member chorus won a spot at the Eighth Annual Young Voices Festival at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa. The event is sponsored by the Gulf Coast Youth Choirs, a Tampa area not-for-profit, privately funded choral organization.
"It's an auditioned group, so we had to send in a recording," Burburan, 30, said. She said West Hernando was the only Hernando middle school to participate in the event.
At the event, her group joined with more than 600 students from 12 Tampa Bay area middle and elementary schools to sing two songs. Her chorus sang one song solo and the other 12 schools also had the opportunity to sing one solo piece.
The West Hernando Golden Eagle Chorus chose the song, Sahayta, which showcases their singing in 10 languages. They sang about unity, peace and helpfulness.
The Gulf Coast Youth Choirs, Burburan said, commissioned a piece of music specifically for the event. The composition by David Childs debuted at the festival.
The youth choir organization was founded by University of South Florida music professor Dr. Lynne Gackle, with a small number of students, Burburan explained. "They now have several choirs ranging from first grade to 12th grade," she said.
Although the students Burburan took to Tampa were from her chorus class, she did ask one student from one of her general music classes to go. Eighth-grader Trevor Quennezille accompanied the singers on the drums.
Burburan was delighted to have been accepted for the festival. "I'm absolutely humbled and thrilled," she said, "and the fact that they were accepted is huge."
Burburan was an intern at West Hernando in October but that changed two months later. "I was hired in December as a full-time teacher," she said. She was older than many starting teaching because Burburan was a stay-at-home mother for about five years.
When her youngest child was born, Burburan decided to return to school and get her teaching degree. Her three children now attend Chocachatti Elementary School.