FARMINGTON — The hard work of 19 Farmington High School students took center stage earlier this month as the men's choir performed its first-ever show.

During Farmington High's vocal music concert Oct. 15 at First Baptist Church, the Low Tones men's choir performed four numbers.

The group, which formed at the beginning of this school year, shared the spotlight with advanced guitar students and three female choir groups: Hollerin' Band, Scorp. Inc. and Windsong.

The evening was a huge success, said Laura Argotsinger, Farmington High's choir teacher. She said all of her students stepped up to perform in a new venue.

"It's always interesting performing in a new venue," Argotsinger said. "The men's choir did awesome for their first performance. There are a lot of performers in that group. There are a lot of juniors and seniors, so they're used to being in the limelight."

Argotsinger doubted that anyone would enroll in the men's choir class, and she said she was surprised by the large turnout.

Farmington High has offered men's choir classes in the past, but the program has been on hiatus for several years, in part because the school began offering a popular guitar program.

This year's men's choir features a diverse group of personalities with athletes, Army JROTC students and thespians mixing with orchestra and band members, as well as those new to performing in a choral group.

The choir is the first time that Jacob Lucas, who is also the football team's quarterback, has been in a real choir, the senior said. Previously, most of his singing has taken place during church services.

"Farmington High School has never had a men's choir before, and it's just a great opportunity to bring a group of guys together that really don't associate any other way," Lucas said. "Now, they are all coming together, and (that) sort of unites the school in a way that is really great."

Members of Farmington High School s Low Tones peform a song called  Captain Fate  during the high school s fall concert on Oct. 15 at the First Baptist
Members of Farmington High School s Low Tones peform a song called Captain Fate during the high school s fall concert on Oct. 15 at the First Baptist Church in Farmington. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)

Before Argotsinger invited him to join the group, senior Nathaniel Lozier last performed in choir in fifth grade.

"It's been a long time, but I sang in church, and that's where Laura (Argotsinger) heard me and said I should join," Lozier said. "I wasn't as good, but she said she could help me, and she really has. She has helped us all, and we sound much better than we did."

Senior Brandon Whittington has spent six years performing in various choirs, and he said he finds it exhilarating to perform with the wide range of students in the men's choir.

"These guys, they have a unique voice, and it's nice to hear on a open crowd like this," Whittington said. "They have very high charismatic voices. ... It's very good."

At the end of their set on Oct. 15, the Low Tones performed an arrangement of "Gone, Gone, Gone" by singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips. Senior Brennen Berkley arranged the song, and it was initially performed at a high school talent show in September by Lucas and seniors Brian Farley and Eli Briody-Pavlik.

Members of the men's choir stepped off the risers and formed a semi-circle around Berkley, Lucas, Farley and Briody-Pavlik on stage while performing the pop music piece.

Argotsinger said the re-introduction of the men's choir class signals growth in Farmington High's choral programs.

"After many years of steady attendance, this is opening up the possibility of growth and music education to more students," she said. "They are all expanding and reaching a larger number of students, impacting more students with the love and joy of music."

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