Devonne Blackhorse, a senior at Farmington High School, poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, at Farmington High School.
Devonne Blackhorse, a senior at Farmington High School, poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, at Farmington High School. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — Music always brings joy and good feelings to Devonne Blackhorse's life as she sings with the Farmington High School choir.

Blackhorse's passion for music resulted in her selection to a national choir by a national music education group. She is one of three New Mexico students chosen for the program.

The National Association for Music Education selected Blackhorse to be a member of the organization's All-National Honors Ensembles. She will collaborate with about 370 other mixed choir students in a performance at the end of October in Nashville, Tenn.

Blackhorse, a senior, said she was initially nervous about applying for the national choir.

"I thought about it but I didn't quite want to do it," Blackhorse said. "One part of me just wanted to see if I could try out and get in. It surprised me that I got in. It made me feel excited and happy."

The trip to Tennessee includes three days of rehearsals from Oct. 27 to 29 which will lead to a performance on Oct. 30. Activities are planned in the evening, including a concert at the Grand Ole Opry House and a performance of the Disney musical Tarzan.

Blackhorse will receive sheet music for the five to six songs she needs to learn in September. She will have to learn her songs and handle her class work.

FHS choir teacher Laura Argotsinger said she believes Blackhorse will be able to handle the work load. She says it's similar to her situation when she was in the New Mexico Music Educators Association state choir.

"She learned all that music on her own too and she has become quite the little musician," Argotsinger said. "A lot of it is done on Devonne's accord and productivity, that's part of the reason it works."

Describing her anticipation as a mixture of excitement and nervousness, Blackhorse said she was excited to sing with a lot of different students from different states but was concerned about the challenges.

"I might mess up some notes or you get confused at what part you are at," Blackhorse said. "That's why I have to always study my music, to get it right and make some notes."

Blackhorse said she has been participating in music her whole life, starting in her fifth grade honor choir. It's the love of music that has inspired Blackhorse to stay in the choir and possibly pursue it in college.

"I just love the sound of music, whatever type of music," Blackhorse said. "It's really special. I think music is always a part of life. Just ... to hear it, to listen to it, to sing it and actually play it. It's a good feeling."

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt.