My Experience In The National FFA Chorus


Photo by Diana Weesner

The Star Spangled Banner being performed by the National FFA Chorus

Max Truman Weesner, Reporter

From being mistaken for the homeless to creating lifelong relationships, my week in the National FFA Chorus is one I will never forget. I originally had no intention of attending National Convention this year, let alone auditioning for a choir.

As a freshman, my FFA journey was off to a rocky start. My schedules overlapped and I had to skip an introduction class to join FFA my sophomore year. Both Mrs. Gettler and my peers in Ag have believed in me in each step, and arriving on the stage in Lucas Oil Stadium was the Magnum Opus of my journey.

I arrived to Indianapolis early Sunday morning, and the next three days of practice were rigorous. Eight or more hours of practice each day, only with breaks for food. We were instructed to stay together in groups, where we usually received the question, ” Where y’all from?” to which we would all respond, “We’re from all over!” The look on someones face as a group of teens who would seem to have known each other for a lifetime would rattle off state after state was absolutely priceless.

It took me a day or so to shake the accent I had picked up (being around about 20 kids from Oklahoma will do that to you). And some interactions even got a bit awkward when I could hear myself talking about Iowa with a thick southern accent.

One interaction I’ll never forget is when a group of us choir kids were in the hotel lobby, and a competition judge asked us to sing a song so he could record it to send to his friend in Canada, who was dying of cancer. We finished our song and he thanked us, embraced us, and affirmed us. I never got his name, but I’ll never forget him.

I also met a young man named Yomar. He was a student and FFA Officer in Puerto Rico, running to gain one of the six positions as a National FFA Officer. His story was empowering, and he reassured us that anyone can do anything they set their mind to. His dreams came to fruition later that week, as the entire FFA Chorus cheered him on his way to the stage, when he had been named the National Southern Region Vice President.

I have only my parents to thank, for forcing me to audition, for the unforgettable week I had in Indianapolis. The friendships I made are unparalleled and the knowledge I gained could never be topped.