Mara WalkerWalker

Here's a fresh song for September: Arlington High School's new choral director comes to town from North Carolina by way of London.

Mara Walker left Freedom High School in Morganton, N.C., for Arlington earlier this summer, but spent time finishing her master's degree in a study-abroad program in the United Kingdom.

“I am honored and excited about my appointment as choral director at Arlington High School," she wrote recently. "I look forward to becoming a part of the excellent performing arts department at AHS and working to ensure the choral program’s continued growth and success."

With concentrations in voice and choral conducting, Walker received her bachelor of music from Lenoir-Rhyne University, in North Carolina, in 2013. She completed her master of music education through Florida State University this summer after a study-abroad semester in London.

Background, smiles

Her background should bring smiles to student singers, including the Arlington High School Madrigal Singers.

For the past six years, she directed the choral music department at Freedom High. During this time, she wrote, the choral program grew from 60 to 170 students, traveled and performed frequently in the community and on several trips across the United States, received straight superior ratings at state music performance adjudication (MPA) and set multiple school records for MPA performances.

"The growth and success of my previous choral program can be attributed to fostering an environment of dedication, positivity, support, hard work and passion, while utilizing music to build community and encourage young people to become well-rounded individuals.

"As I make transition to Arlington, I hope to bring the same level of energy, dedication and infectious passion for music into the choral program at Arlington High School.”

In announcing her appointment in late June, Principal Matthew Janger wrote that Walker "was selected from a large field of strong candidates and has already had a chance to meet members" of the current Madrigal choir.

Walker arrives to take up where Madalyn Kitchen left off. Janger wrote that, after four years as AHS choral director, Kitchen is staying home with her children for now.

This brief news summary was published Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.