Although he's a member of the Centennial High School choir, Dewayne Scott said he's "more of a sports guy."

Nevertheless, he signed up to sing in the choir, moving out of his comfort zone while getting to spend time with friends.

Now the senior is a member of the group that has a return engagement at the Ohio Statehouse. The Centennial choir will close out this year's holiday concert series when they perform at noon Dec. 21 in the Museum Gallery.

"It's pretty sweet," Scott said. "I've never been there before. We haven't sung there in a while, so it's going to be a special thing."

"This is my first chance to take them to the Statehouse," said director of vocal music Pamela J. Welsh-Huggins, now in her second year at Centennial. "They get to walk in the steps of history."

The Centennial choir took part in the Statehouse holiday series in 2012 and '13 under director Ross Shirley.

Putting her young charges through their paces during a Dec. 12 class that served as rehearsal for the Statehouse performance, Welsh-Huggins was supportive and sarcastic.

"Hi. Good morning. Welcome to choir. Let's sing together," she said at one point following a moment of what might be called disharmony.

Another time she urged choir members against sounding "too Ohio."

"Let's not go full Cleveland," Welsh-Huggins said.

"OK, I'm playing everybody's parts," she said later. "I'm taking the training wheels off."

During a break, Welsh-Huggins said she believes participation in choir can be a rewarding experience for high school students.

"My strong feeling is we make harmony here so we can make harmony in the bigger world," she said. "They become a family here. These are lifelong friendships that they form."

Welsh-Huggins said she's still friends with someone she sang with in her high school choir.

"We are all really different -- different backgrounds, ethnicities, religious," said sophomore choir member Reda Fathalah. "We can come together and sing."

"It's a family environment," said Rian Kelly, another sophomore choir member. "Everybody is there for each other, a support system for one another.

"I'm excited for people to hear how good we are, how much work we put into these songs."

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1