Mannsville music students received Superior ratings as they competed Saturday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition.

"I can't quit smiling. Singing helps me know how to say words properly — actually, it helps with everything," DeziRay Edwards said.

Three soloists, one duet and an ensemble of fifth through eighth-graders competed. They are under the direction of Judy Foster and accompanied by Gayle Avery.

Soloist Kristina Harwell and the ensemble qualified for the state competition April 27 at Southern Nazarene University.

Being able to compete means a lot to the young students as they think about their futures.

"When I get older, this has inspired me to be a music teacher," Edwards said. "Music helps students say things that they can't say out loud talking, but they instead can say when they sing. Music is words from their hearts."