A Zest for The Arts

Chris played the part of the King in Cinderella while attending Marshall Middle School.

FHS student Chris Agey has passion for music, theatre and writing

Story by Debbie Eisele, photos by George Agey

Chris Agey, a rising senior at Fauquier High School (FHS), has loved music from a very young age. Throughout his formative years, Chris was encouraged to enjoy the arts by his mother, Tonja, and father, George. Agey’s parents enjoy theatre, music, and all other forms of arts. Tonja prefers the behind-the-scenes action, and George prefers performing and making people smile. Chris believes his parents are a huge influence on him. Additionally, his brothers (ages 20 and 23) also share a similar passion for the arts. It is a true family affair.

“I was big on expanding the mindset of my children from infancy up. So I played music before all my children were born and as they grew up,” explained Tonja. “They watched television, but it was only educational materials: singing, dancing, learning a language, Little Einsteins and VeggieTales to name a few.”

Chris said, “As far back as I can remember I have been singing and acting. My brothers and I would even create plays when we were little and act them out. My first true stage performance that I can remember is when I was acting in the church production of Island of Misfit Toys. My brother and I were toy soldiers. Oh my … did I have stage fright!”

When asked who his mentors were, Chris simply said, “It’s a combination of people really. My mom and dad encourage me all the time,” said Chris. Tonja added, “I think the Bible has been a mentor to Chris as well. The Bible tells you training your child up in their gifts. He [Chris] has a gift. He is encouraged to use it. We never stop him from performing songs. We just let him sing. He shines when he performs and truly enjoys it.”

Another major influence was Ms. Deavers from Kettle Run High School. She worked with him on a variety of performances, some as far back as elementary school. “She would pull me aside and tell me how to improve,” he said. “She was ‘real’ and it drove me to do more and do it better.”

Playing the part of Horton in Seussical Junior with Allegro Community School of the Arts.

Chris also shared that Bob Swift, Allegro Community School of the Arts instructor, has impacted him immensely: “Mr. Swift has helped me grow in such a short amount of time.” Chris began receiving private vocal instruction from Swift in the fall of 2015. “He is the only formal teacher I have had for vocals. I see his passion for music—it’s prominent in what he does. We always laugh when we make a mistake, but we don’t give up. We look at the mistake realistically and make it work.”

On a scale of one to ten (ten being the highest priority), Chris ranks music as an eight. He is a bass 2 vocalist—that is the lowest vocal position there is. His range is from about the second E below middle C to the E above middle C. One thing that Chris fears is losing his voice: “It  is something I deeply care about. Music is an essential part of my life. I can hardly go a day without singing a song,” he described.

“It’s a functional coping mechanism. Music is there for every mood you can possibly have,” he explained. “I pull from songs that either mirror or counter my emotions,” Chris shared. “Sometimes I pick mellow songs if I am in that type of mood, or I will listen to or sing upbeat songs to propel me out of a mellow mood.”

“I have a healthy respect for the arts,” Chris said. “Someone once asked me if there was a type of music I listen to, but I listen to all music—some more so than others. I have tremendous respect for successful musicians and other types of artists because I know it takes a lot of work to achieve the accomplishments they have.”

Chris played Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Brumfield Elementary.

Ms. Bacot, his chorus teacher at FHS, said, “We have very talented students here at FHS, and Chris is certainly one of them. He sings with the Choral Ensemble, which is a small group of our very best singers. This group performs mostly a cappella music ranging from traditional historical classics to modern pop. Our students have the opportunity to audition for district and state level choirs if they choose to do so. The audition involves singing a preselected, prepared piece AND sight singing a short melody.” Bacot also noted that “Chris has been quite successful at every level, usually landing at number one or two in our district. He has a powerful bass voice and, more importantly, he knows how to work hard. It has been a pleasure to see him progress over the years and become the outstanding vocal artist that he is.”

With a zest for the arts, Chris loves constant learning. He decided to pursue another form of art to express himself—writing. Currently, he is writing a four-book series and uses his motivation and drive to share his talents with others.

In 2018, Chris will spread his wings after he graduates FHS. He still has not decide on which career path or passion to follow – drama, teaching (vocals, creative writing, or science), or graphics/game design. He is still in the investigative stage, looking at several colleges, including local ones.

“Fame doesn’t interest me, I want to be ‘real’ to people; not fake to achieve notoriety.” Chris said. “I’d rather be known for ‘me’ rather than what someone else thinks of me.” The future is unknown, but one thing will not change: the fact that Chris will continue singing. “I enjoy performing because I make people smile. If I can invoke an emotion in people, then my job is done right,” noted Chris. “It is what drives me; knowing I can do that.”


Agey’s Accomplishments

Chris has an impressive list of accomplishments, at a young age. With his talent, this list will no doubt be added to in the very near future.

2006 (Age 7): Chris played a green army man in Misfit Toys in a Christmas musical produced by their church.

2009-2010 (4th grade): Chris was a student at Brumfield Elementary and played Thomas O’Maley in Aristocats. His teacher at the time was Mrs. Deavers.

2010-2011 (5th grade): Chris played Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Brumfield Elementary.

2013-2014 (8th grade): Chris attended Warrenton Middle School and played the King in Cinderella and was the only representative from WMS at the All State Choir. Chris’ music instructor at the time was Ms. Bacot.

2014-2015  (9th grade): Chris entered FHS and in his first year played Senator Fipp in Urinetown and was influenced by Mr. Bales, the drama instructor. He also participated in the District Choir that year.

2015-2016 (10th grade): This year, the Fauquier High School choral group made the District Choir and Chris auditioned and was granted the part of Horton in Seussical Junior with Allegro Community School of the Arts.

2016-2017 (11th grade): This year, the FHS District Choir scored 18 out of 20 possible points and made it into the All State Choir, where they scored 98 out of 100 possible points. Chris was the only student representative for FHS at this event.

 

Debbie Eisele
About Debbie Eisele 36 Articles
Debbie Eisele is an editor and writer for Piedmont Lifestyle Publications. She is also a certified horticulturalist, an education advocate, and president of the board of directors for Allegro School of the Arts. She lives in Warrenton with her husband and twin daughters. In her free time, she enjoys a cup of coffee and being outdoors.

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