Monday, January 29, 2018

Chamber Choir Performs with Symphony

By: Ashtun Welling
   Chamber Choir had the honor to perform with the WV Symphony. January 20, they went to Charleston to the Clay Center to sing classic video game pieces. The audience was not of the norm, dressed up as their favorite characters to watch the show. The “Video Games Live!” used their Facebook page for their followers to vote in advance on which pieces they would like to see performed. Other than that, the music is kept secret until the show begins.
  Director Annie Hancock got the news around the middle of December. She is a part of the advisory group of choir teachers that revisies the state standards for their classes. Vice President Betty King approached Hancock asking if they would be interested in performing with the WV Symphony. Hancock sent in an audio file of the Chamber Choir singing to Betty to be reviewed before the music was sent out.
  Hancock could only take her chamber choir because of the 30 singer limit. The students had to do most of the prep work alone since there was only three school days outside of snow days to rehearse in class.
   “For the amount of time I had with my students, I am blessed with hardworking singers. Thrilled that we got invited to sing with them again. I cannot wait for the next phone call,” said Hancock.
  After the holidays the music was sent along with rehearsal tracks.The Chamber Choir had eight pieces out of nineteen to learn. These included Classic Arcade Medley, Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy VIII, Skyrim, Overwatch, Earthworm Gym, and the Witcher III. Senior Maggie Bowlby had the honor of singing a solo in the Witcher III.
  “It was such a wonderful experience being in front of the audience. It was different from being in the Clay Center than in the school auditorium because of the different size of the room. Even the rehearsal was different because the director said we had to feel the music instead of just singing it. I personally wasn’t worried about all the snow days we had in that past week because I felt confident with my part,” said Bowlby.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

‘Time’s Up’ movement emerges with the start of the new year

By: Lucas Smith

It has been said that “2018 will be the year of women.” It is unknown who first coined the saying, but it has been used in the media as a way to bring women together, and to bring awareness to the now well-known “Time’s Up” movement. 
The Time’s Up organization is “a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere,” according to their website.
Their goal is to promote equality and to allow for men and women to access the legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions. The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which is administered by the National Women’s Law Center, connects those who experience sexual misconduct in the workplace with legal and public relations assistance.
Within 2017, especially the ending months of 2017, many men were accused of sexual harassment within the workplace- many of which came from the entertainment industry. These men include: news anchor Matt Lauer, film producer Harvey Weinstein, and politicians Al Franken and Donald Trump. President Trump was accused throughout campaigning for office and has continued to be accused throughout his presidency.
Because so many men were accused at the end of 2017, #MeToo surfaced at the beginning of the new year as a way to bring awareness to the retaliation women are facing within the workplace. At the 2018 Golden Globes, male and female celebrities wore black in solidarity for the mission of the Time’s Up organization.
According to a 2015 Cosmopolitan survey, “1 and 3 women ages 18 to 34 have been sexually harassed at work. 71% of those women said they did not report it.”
Women usually don’t report sexual harassment in the workplace because they feel as if it is something they have to endure until they can move on to another job, where they may need the exact perpetrators’ reference. Also, the perpetrator is often of higher power and is successful. A woman at a beginner level occupation may feel vulnerable to the consequences of reporting the person who is doing the harassment.
In order to assist women in these kinds of situations, women in Hollywood created the “Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund” that will minimize the cost of legal support for those who have experienced sexual harassment.  They saw the support against sexual harassment from women across all workplaces, so they created the Fund for those who have experienced this in all industries, especially low-income women and women of color.
The Time’s Up movement has diminished the line between famous and non-famous people. It is allowing them to have something in common. Female celebrities have joined their not-so-famous cohorts in national women’s marches, where many people are advocating and showing their support for the Time’s Up movement.  Some of these celebrities include: actresses Sophia Bush, Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lawrence,  and the Fifth Harmony singer Lauren Jauregui.
There are many ways you can help diminish sexual harassment within the workplace. The first of which, is to not be a part of the problem. You can find more ways why on the Time’s Up website, where you can also donate to the Legal Defense Fund to help those in need of assistance. Visit for more information.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Band and choir prepare for All-State

By: Tyler Ball
The All State Band competition is coming! Band students from all across the state will join together on March 8-10 to participate in this event.
All-State Band is and event where the most talented band students from schools statewide are chosen to gather together and practice musical pieces together all day for two days before performing the songs they've learned prior to, and during the event in front of a live audience at the Charleston Civic Center on March 10th at 2:00 pm.
The band will be directed by a guest director Dr. Damon Talley from Louisiana State University.
Junior Austin Tolley, one of the three Ripley High students to be chosen to attend said, “I’m pretty excited. I think it’s really fun to be able to play percussion all day for two days. I also like performing so that’s a plus.”
The other students chosen for this event are junior Caleb Bailey and senior Maggie Bowlby. However, before being chosen to play at the competition, they had to prove their worthiness.
Each student’s audition consisted of 10 solo scales, and 2 etudes, also known as a short song. The auditions were held by band director Jennette Bowlby. They also had to have a blind audition in Charleston where they were given scales at random to play.
The students chosen are very lucky to be a part of All-State Band. They were chosen out of 400 kids competing for 150 spots in the band. Plus, it leads to great scholarships.
However, band kids aren't the only ones having fun. The choir students have their All- State competition ahead also.
Just like the band, the All-State choir performance will be held on March 8-10 at Charleston. These students will all come together with director Pam McClain and practice songs together all day for 2 days before performing on March 10th.
Their concert is held at the Municipal Auditorium. The tickets are $5 each.      
The octet chosen by Annie Hancock from Ripley includes Anna Kimble, Addison Hartley, Cheyenne Jones, Rachel Snyder, Micah Ranson, Austin Jones, Lucas Smith, and Michael Lough.
Anna Kimble said “I was very excited when I was told I was chosen. I mean, I really enjoy choir and to be able to be chosen with the best in the state is pretty cool.”
There are usually more than 300 students in the choir, and most choir directors only bring their very best singers to the auditions, due to the amount of pressure.  It's a big deal to be selected, and the concert is usually a pretty unique experience.

Is Trophy Hunting Bad for Endangered Species?

Trophy hunting, the sport of hunting for the biggest and most prized animals, has been a part of history anywhere from far and in between of kings, presidents, and wealthy sportsmen and women. The thrill of the dangerous encounters with these wild animals is what these adrenaline-seeking citizens are all about. These men and women pay big bucks to go to Africa to hunt some of the most exotic game in the world. They are often given hate because the public thinks they are inhumanly killing these animals. Hunters are very ethical with their kills and usually have the most upright respect for the animals they take.

Everyone remembers the outrage of the infamous Cecil the lion being killed by a Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer in 2015. This sparked a huge conservationist issue because Cecil was living in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa, a non-hunting National Park where hundreds of lions are raised and watched closely by numerous scientist. A border that marked the ending of the park was a railroad; on just the other side of the railroad was legal hunting grounds. Conservationists and true were furious when they were told Cecil was lured out of his safe national park, across the train tracks, and onto the hunting grounds where he would be shot with a compound bow, then hours later finished off by a gun. 

This event upset true-hearted hunters as well. Hunters who hunt out in admiration for these animals strive to take game ethically by: making proper shot placement with a bow or riffle, respecting endangered populations, and respecting legal and non-legal hunting grounds. Walter Palmer was not a true hunter or trophy hunter. Palmer crossed the line as a hunter as nothing of his hunt was ethical by any means. 

Africa has a long list of endangered species, for example: leopards, multiple species of rhinos and elephants, Reed Frog, cheetah, African Wild Dog, and lions are placed as vulnerable but not yet endangered. People who want to end trophy hunting haven’t done their research. What the public doesn’t see is that the main reasons of decrease in these beautiful animals is in fact decline in habitat, and conflict with poaching and some endangerment in local villages.

Poaching has been a serious problem for decades now. “Hunters” set up traps often made of barbed wire or other forms of sharp wire for snares to kill big game animals so they can sell their fur, hides, and ivory. Poaching has made the African game population decline substantially over the years, and that is why we need to enforce systems to end poaching instead of trophy hunting.

It is evident that trophy hunting has to be respected, managed, and preserved in order to maintain a steady balance of African game. Many places in Africa have stabilized systems that regulate hunting. These will not be perfect, but this has been working well for them and there is no need to change anything that’s not broken.

Trophy Hunting is beneficial for many reasons. Hunters come from all over the world to hunt these magnificent creatures. The owners of these lands keep the land and habitats well maintained to produce high success rates for hunters coming to bag trophies. If these hunters didn’t use the land then nobody would, and poachers would soon infest them killing off the population. These hunters pay thousands of dollars for these hunts. That money often goes to sustaining a flourishing habitat that helps wildlife and it goes to local villages to support life and benefit their local needs. These remote areas don’t leave many options for revenue and the public (outside of these villages) doesn’t understand that these remotes areas only option of producing a revenue is Trophy Hunting. With steady and strict guidelines set from these countries with multiple areas for steady paced trophy hunting will be safe for the endangered animals. They will have the best chance to flourish on the reserves at which they are being hunted.