EDEN, N.C. -- A new sound is sweeping through Rockingham County. It’s the sound of young singers lifting their voices to inspire and encourage.
The Eden Youth Unity Choir is made up of students from Holmes Middle School and Morehead High School.
"We’ve got kids that are Catholic. We’ve got kids from all denominations that are coming together and it just shows the power of God, first of all, but the power of music," Rev. Jamie Galloway said.
Galloway started the choir last year with about 18 students. It's doubled in size since then.
They sing at pep rallies, nursing homes, community events and churches around Rockingham County.
"The choir is very special," eighth-grade student Mikiai Dillard said. "Everybody who’s in it is special. I see there are people that are in there and you can see that they’re in the choir for a reason."
The choir focuses on more than music.
"We also come together and we pray," Galloway said. "I know a lot of people talk about prayer has been taken out of schools and those kind of things. Prayer hasn’t gone anywhere. God is still doing his thing."
"I like to express my religion in school," eighth-grade student Jade Mebane said.
It’s also a safe space. There is no negativity allowed.
"We’re here to build them up. I try my best to encourage each child to do their best not only in here, but academically, behaviorally, in the classroom. I think your character and integrity mean a whole lot -- not necessarily when you’re singing a song but outside of that," Galloway said.
And the students hope the choir can be an example in Rockingham County and beyond.
"I hope that they take away a little bit of inspiration. Maybe if they hear us sing and they see youth singing, maybe they’ll think they can do something too. They can do anything," Dillard said.
Galloway says he wants to make every student in the choir a better singer and he hopes they’ll be singing their own original music soon. He hopes to one day record a CD.