Lost Mountain Middle School opened in 1992. The
first choral director at Lost Mountain was Pam Chastain. Pam taught chorus
at the Lost Mountain campus until 1998. In 1998, the sixth and seventh
graders at Lost Mountain were relocated to a new building that is now Durham
Middle School; the eighth graders stayed at the Lost Mountain campus along
with all the ninth graders from Harrison High School. The school was renamed
West Cobb School for two years. Pam Chastain taught the sixth and seventh
graders at Lost Mountain (Durham) and Jay Champion taught the Lost Mountain
eighth graders and Harrison ninth graders at West Cobb School until 2000. In
the fall of 2000, Lost Mountain became Durham and West Cobb School became
Lost Mountain again. Pam Chastain remained at Durham to teach chorus and Jay
Champion took over as choral director at Lost Mountain Middle School.
At the time, Lost Mountain Middle School offered one eighth grade chorus
class, sixth and seventh graders who wanted to sing were asked to come
before school to do so. One year later, seventh grade chorus was offered as
a class. In 2002, sixth grade chorus was offered as a class. Since that
time, the choral program has grown to over two-hundred members.
Since 2001, the Eighth Grade Chorus has performed every year at Disney Magic
Music Days in DisneyWorld in Orlando, FL. Seventh and Eighth Grade Choruses
have regularly earned excellent and superior ratings at Large Group
Performance Evaluations. Over the years, wonderful choral directors have
helped the program grow. Emily Cannon and Kelly Westberry have worked with
students and recorded practice tracks for students since 2002.
Theresa Bennett joined the choral department as a full-time
paraprofessional. Acting as an assistant teacher, tutor, choral
administrator, communications director, Music Department Coordinator, and
more, her talents and knowledge have allowed to choral department to grow
and be more effective, and help create an even more special and memorable
experience for our students. That same year,
Sarah Heagy (now Sarah Rabun) student-taught at Lost Mountain. In addition
to assisting with the grade-level choirs, Ms. Rabun directed the Girls Choir
exclusively through the 2009-2010 school year.
In January of 2010, the
choral department recieved it's greatest honor to date, being selected to
perform at the Georgia Music Educators' Association (GMEA) In-Service
Conference in Savannah, GA. In the fall of 2010, Kelly Westberry took over
as Girls Choir Director and worked with the 7th and 8th grade girls during
class two days a week.
Kirsten Benson took over the position in the fall of
2011. Jimmie Howell student-taught in the spring. In January 2012, the Eighth Grade Chorus became the first guest choir
to utter a sound at the inaugeral Georgia State University MidSingFest, an
invitation-only joint concert by selected middle school choirs in the state
of Georgia. The same year, band, chorus and orchestra students benefitted
from the scheduling of ensemble-specific general music classes. Whereas in
the past general music classes were a mixture of music and non-music
students; music students took these classes with their peers. In a general
music class with only chorus students, the curriculum was tailored to their
skills and talents.
In the fall of 2012, Kirsten Benson joins the
choral department as a second choral director. This allows the regular
sectional rehearsals in all our choirs, greater preparation for All-State
Chorus auditions, Solo and Ensemble, and Honor Chorus events, and assistance
with instruction in general music classes. Our chorus students benefitted
greatly from her expertise and guidance.
In 2013, Ms. Benson's
position was taken from the choral department. With just as many students,
we welcomed Ms. Westberry back to LMMS as director of the Girl's Choir.
Tammy Newman joined as a part-time
instructors. Tori Bethune (now Tori Fallis) student-taught in the 2013-14
spring semester. The choir will begin using the Music Technology Lab for three
things: Self-guided Ear-training and Music Theory lessons and exercises
using Auralia and Musition, basic piano skills, and self-recording
After eight years as the chorus parapro, Theresa
Bennett accepted a job at Pine Mountain Middle School in 2016. Her time at
LMMS will always be considered a time of great acheivement, love, and
fellowship for the choral department, the music department, and Lost
Mountain Middle School as a whole. Ms. Bennett's contributions are
inestimable, pouring her heart and soul in everything she did for everyone.
In the Fall of 2016, Kacy Bishop, a veteran middle school chorus
director, joined the chorus department as Assistant Choral Director, a
half-time certified teacher position. Ms. Bishop assisted Mr. Champion with
8th and 6th grade choirs every day. Kelly Westberry continued to assist Mr.
Champion with 7th grade chorus every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the
year, in addition to directing the Girls Choir.
In 2017, Ms. Bishop
became a full-time teacher at LMMS teaching all chorus classes with Mr.
Champion during first hour connections and teaching Drama during second hour
connections while Mr. Champion taught Music Technology. Ms. Bishop also took
over direction of the Girls Choir. Ms. Bishop and Mr. Champion were aided by
Macy Swanson, a student-teacher from Kennesaw State University.
was a very exciting year. Dr. Lenora Nyeste became the principal of LMMS.
The Eighth Grade Chorus performed at the GMEA Statewide In-service
Confererence in Athens, GA in January 2019, and both the Seventh and Eighth
Grade Choruses gave guest performances at Kennesaw State University with the
KSU Advanced Women's Ensemble in March.