Sounds of South

Sounds of South


In the spring/summer, SOS alum Holly Barnhart had the privilege of joining the a capella groups at Ball State University in recording an album named “Debut.” It has now been released on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music.

Here is the song by Holly’s group, Sedoctave, on that album. The song is titled “Bottom of the River.”

You can specifically hear Holly’s voice at time spot 0:14 (she is the first single voice to sing “Hold My Hand”) and again as the rapper at time spot 1:38 (she also wrote the rap).

Congratulations, Holly!
SOS alum Holly Barnhart & her a capella group, Sedoctave, will be performing at the IU Auditorium this Saturday, Mar 25, at 7:00 PM in the Varsity Vocals ICCA Midwest Semifinal competition.

If they win, they will move on to the finals in New York City.

Tickets can be purchased at the IU Auditorium website or box office.
So excited for SOS alum Holly Barnhart, who sings in the a capella group Sedoctave. The group won 1st place at the ICCA Midwest Quarterfinal competition held at Ball State on Feb 11.

They'll move on to the ICCA Midwest Semifinal competition on March 25 at 7 PM at the IU Auditorium.
Here is a video of SOS alum Holly Barnhart with Sedoctave (Ball State’s co-ed a capella group), singing the National Anthem before the Ball State men’s basketball game on Tuesday night. She is the 1st soprano in the red t-shirt closest to the camera.
The concert is going to be wonderful! Please come and share our joy Of the season. Love, Gwen
Dear Director Upchurch and all of your wonderful staff, What a delightful time we had at "Beauty and the Beast" last night. It was our first production at BHSS and we loooooooooved it tremendously.
Sincerely, the Kings (TK is Dexter's voice teacher and he knows Ben Johnson and Catie May as well - from Bloomington Chamber Singers and from church)

Sounds of South is the premier performance choir at Bloomington High School South. In addition to several concerts and competitions, Sounds of South produces a musical each Fall.

Sounds of South is directed by Gwen Witten Upchurch. Sounds of South is the premier, performance choir of Bloomington High School South.


Our senior highlight for today honors Chandler Deppert!

Chandler is a four-year member of Sounds of South. He performed in the chorus for the 2018 production of Guys and Dolls, LeFou in the 2019 production of Beauty and the Beast, and Enoch Snow in the 2020 and 2021 productions of Carousel. He also performed the role of Grover in the 2022 Stages production of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.

Outside of Sounds of South, Chandler enjoys acting, singing, song writing, and playing lacrosse.

In the fall, Chandler will be studying at Indiana University, Bloomington.

“Thank you to Ms. Witten and Chris for giving me these great opportunities which have helped me strengthen my overall confidence in front of a crowd and have taught me a lot about theater. I have always been super excited to be in SOS and am so happy that I got the experience to be in this group. I look forward to seeing how Sound of South does in the coming years, and I look forward to coming back to watch all the musicals after I graduate!”

Congratulations and best wishes to you, Chandler! !


Congratulations to all of our Sounds of South seniors who officially graduated on Saturday, May 28th. Best wishes to all of you!

Our senior highlight for today honors Lexi Gryszowka!

Lexi is a three-year member of Sounds of South. She was seen as a chorus member in Beauty and the Beast and as Louise in Carousel.

In the fall, Lexi will be attending The University of Arizona where she plans to major in neuroscience on a pre-med track and will continue a career in modeling as well.

“Sounds of South has meant so much to me these past three years; I’ve made amazing friends and memories because of it. Thank you so much Ms. Witten and Chris for being amazing teachers, as well as caring for every single person in Sounds of South like they’re your own kid. I will love and cherish everything Sounds of South has brought me, and am so excited to begin the next chapter of my life!”

Congratulations and best wishes to you, Lexi! !


Our senior highlight for today honors Sophie Giedroc!

Sophie is a 2-year member of Sounds of South. She was seen as June Girl and one of the Snow Children in Carousel. Outside of Sounds of South, Sophie is a member of the Dignity Project and a member of the National Honor Society.

After graduation, Sophie will be attending Saint Louis University as a six-year, direct admit to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She also plans to minor in either theatre arts or photography.

“I would like to thank Ms. Witten and Chris Miller for giving me the opportunity to become part of this family. Even though I have only been with this group for two years, I have gotten the chance to meet some amazing new friends. I would also like to thank my wonderful family and friends for the support and confidence that they gave me.”

Congratulations and best wishes, Sophie! !

Photos from Sounds of South's post 05/23/2022

Congratulations to all of our incoming members, many of whom graduated from their middle schools this weekend! We are so thankful for such fantastic foundational music education programs here in Bloomington and especially their teachers ❤️, training our singers, musicians, and dancers of tomorrow! Welcome to Sounds of South!


Our senior highlight for today honors Matthew Griffin!

Matthew is a four-year member of Sounds of South and performed the roles of Jigger Craigin in the ’20 and ’21 productions of Carousel, Beast in the ’19 production of Beauty and the Beast, and was a chorus member in the ’18 production of Guys and Dolls. At the 2022 WorldStrides OnStage Heritage Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee, Matthew received the Ovation Award. This award was not only a reflection of his incredible performance ability, but his perseverance and dedication as he patiently worked through a life-changing injury sustained during the ‘21 BHSS football season. His ACL injury happened early in the season and not only put him out for the rest of the football, hockey, and lacrosse seasons, but drastically altered his capability as the lead character, Jigger, in the ’21 production of Carousel. His character’s staging had to be reimagined to account for his injury, but he insisted he would relearn the part to the best of his ability. Excellent work, Matthew!

Outside of Sounds of South, Matthew is a member of the BHSS Football and Lacrosse teams in addition to his participation in the Bloomington Blades hockey team.

In the fall, Matthew will be heading to Hanover College as a football commit where he will pursue a degree in Business Communications.

Congratulations and best wishes to you, Matthew! !

Photos from Sounds of South's post 05/19/2022

We kicked off celebrating our seniors this week at Bloomington High School South during the senior banquet, but the best celebration is yet to come! Join us this Saturday, May 21st at 7pm in the BHSS Auditorium for our Finale.


Our senior highlight for today honors Aidan Aker!

Aidan is a first-year member of Sounds of South and we were so happy to have him join us for his senior year. In addition to his participation and love for singing in Sounds of South, he was also a member of the BHSS Wresting team.

After graduation, Aidan will begin working with a NASCAR related company called Racing Electronics in addition to pursuing a possible journalism degree at Ivy Tech.

Aidan’s favorite memory from his time with Sounds of South would definitely be the Nashville, Tennessee trip this spring.

Congratulations and best wishes to you, Aidan! !


This recap from our Spring Concert will leave you saying, “I want to hear more!”

Great news…You can!

Join us this Saturday, May 21st at 7pm for our Finale.


Our senior highlight for today honors Rieken Isom!

Rieken is a four-year member of Sounds of South. She was seen in the chorus of Guys and Dolls as a missionary and as a patron, in Beauty and the Beast as a villager, plate, wolf, and ballroom dancer. This and last year, she was thrilled to be cast as Nettie Fowler in Carousel. Rieken participates in the National Honor Society and she is a PAC member. For the past five years, she has been a part of Bloomington’s Trashion Refashion show as a model in order to show others the art that can be created from recycled materials. In her free time, she enjoys singing, practicing photography, spending time with friends, and learning new things. After high school, Rieken plans to continue her academic career at The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga to pursue a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts for Graphic Design and join different music groups to continue to sing and perform throughout her college life.

“Throughout these past four years Sounds of South has impacted my life in amazing ways. In this group I’ve met people that have changed my life, and taught me so many great things. I have countless memories from this group that I will cherish and look back on with a smile. I especially enjoy memories from musical season, mostly because of the large amount of quality bonding time with the group. I got to work with my closest friends in a way that allowed us to be closer and cheer them on as they worked hard in something they loved. I would like to think my parents and family for constantly supporting and helping me. I also want to thank the group and my friends for always being there for me, and helping to give me confidence when I needed it most. I would like to thank Ms. Witten and Chris for teaching me to push my limits and know that I am capable of doing more then when I think I can. I want to thank the two of you for always supporting me and helping me feel confident in doing what I love. I love you all!”

Congratulations and best wishes to you, Rieken! !


Come hear the World Strides Champion and ISSMA - Indiana State School Music Association, Inc. State Finalist this Friday, May 13th at 7pm in the Bloomington High School South Auditorium. $5/person


For the next few weeks, we will be highlighting our Sounds of South Seniors!

Let’s start by honoring Aden Rhoads.

Aden Rhoads is a four-year member of Sounds of South. He performed as a gangster in Guys and Dolls, in the chorus and Angry Mob in Beauty and the Beast, and as the Policeman in Carousel. A couple of his favorite memories from his time spent with SOS would be the group’s achievements at ISSMA as well as the awards and recognitions received this spring at the Heritage Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to enjoying the wonderful friendships developed within Sounds of South, Aden was a three-year member of the Panther Activity Committee. Attending Ivy Tech Community College beginning this fall, Aden will continue his Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management studies.

“A big thank you goes to Chris for his support with vocals and learning lines. Much appreciation goes to Ms. Witten for her support not only in SOS but for helping me with my success in high school and as a person. Thank you to my parents and grandparents for their support, traveling to all of the shows and contests. An extra thank you to my Mom who volunteers, rides the bus, and made sure that I have always been successful!”

Congratulations and best wishes to you, Aden! !

Videos (show all)

2022 Worldstrides Onstage- 1st Place
2022 Worldstrides Onstage- 1st Place!
Awards Ceremony WorldStrides Musical Festival, Nashville, Tenn
Sounds of South - MCCSC Spelling Bee





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