Leaving a Mark on the Nation

Varsity Choir Receives National Mark of Excellence; Reflect on Their Hard Work

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Leaving a Mark on the Nation

Junior choir student Zain Jabbar (third from left to right) sings in the fall concert. The varsity mixed choir had prepared extensively for their TMEA performance, dedicating every minute to preparation. Jabbar reflects on this work. “For four months, every Wednesday after school, we practiced for an hour and fifteen minutes on the four songs,” Jabbar says. “And these weren’t easy songs. Ms Holt made sure we chose really hard songs that the professional choirs do. I was really happy that all the hard work was recognized.”

Junior choir student Zain Jabbar (third from left to right) sings in the fall concert. The varsity mixed choir had prepared extensively for their TMEA performance, dedicating every minute to preparation. Jabbar reflects on this work. “For four months, every Wednesday after school, we practiced for an hour and fifteen minutes on the four songs,” Jabbar says. “And these weren’t easy songs. Ms Holt made sure we chose really hard songs that the professional choirs do. I was really happy that all the hard work was recognized.”

Photo by Rowan Rodriguez

Junior choir student Zain Jabbar (third from left to right) sings in the fall concert. The varsity mixed choir had prepared extensively for their TMEA performance, dedicating every minute to preparation. Jabbar reflects on this work. “For four months, every Wednesday after school, we practiced for an hour and fifteen minutes on the four songs,” Jabbar says. “And these weren’t easy songs. Ms Holt made sure we chose really hard songs that the professional choirs do. I was really happy that all the hard work was recognized.”

Photo by Rowan Rodriguez

Photo by Rowan Rodriguez

Junior choir student Zain Jabbar (third from left to right) sings in the fall concert. The varsity mixed choir had prepared extensively for their TMEA performance, dedicating every minute to preparation. Jabbar reflects on this work. “For four months, every Wednesday after school, we practiced for an hour and fifteen minutes on the four songs,” Jabbar says. “And these weren’t easy songs. Ms Holt made sure we chose really hard songs that the professional choirs do. I was really happy that all the hard work was recognized.”

Ruchi Sankolli, Reporter

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For the second year in a row, the CPHS Varsity Mixed Choir has won the National Mark of Excellence Award from the Foundation for Music Education after their performance at the Texas Music Educators Convention (TMEA) last February. 

“We have only performed in this competition in the last five years since I came to Cedar Park,” choir director Lisa Holt said. “It is really exciting to have taken the program and grown it to [be] nationally recognized.” 

Last year, the choir prepared extensively. This year is no different, as they are dedicating every moment of their leisure time for auditions. 

“These students have started preparing for this, some as early as last May when the music was announced,” Holt said. “A lot of them attended summer camps over the summer at different universities and some of them come to sectionals three times a week and get ready outside of school as well, the recording is five minutes in order to get ready for the audition on Oct. 19. We take the recordings at the end of the year to submit for a judication and that’s where all of their work from the whole year comes to fruition and those final recordings we submit to compete.”

The choir is also going to participate in UIL and perform in concerts in the future. They are also submitting in the American Choral Directors Association, a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma, and trying for the national level in that as well. 

The students who were a part of the award-winning varsity choir express pride and satisfaction at this achievement.

“It is really cool,” senior choir officer Rihika Kommana said. “We are proud of ourselves, and just to have that Mark of Excellence for two years in a row is something that is really amazing.” 

Junior choir member Zain Jabbar reflects upon how much work and dedication was put into performing the four songs that were chosen and the joy he felt upon winning. 

“For four months, every Wednesday after school, we practiced for an hour and fifteen minutes on the four songs,” Jabbar said. “And these weren’t easy songs. Ms. Holt made sure we chose really hard songs that the professional choirs do. I was really happy that all the hard work was recognized.”

It’s just really nice to know that the whole country recognizes us as a really good choir and that they appreciate all the work that we have put into our music.”

— Fallyn Moore (12)

But for some students, the mere experience of attending TMEA was awarding itself. 

“It’s just really nice to know that the whole country recognizes us as a really good choir and that they appreciate all the work that we have put into our music,” senior choir member Fallyn Moore said. “It was also really nice that we got the National Mark of Excellence while also being able to go to TEMA and being one of the best choirs in the state of Texas. It is so cool that we got to get the best of both worlds.”