Choir Students Advance To Area

Nine Move Forward To Compete in January, Members Discuss Excitement, Preparation


Photo By: Rowan Rodriguez

Choir students perform at the Fall concert on Oct. 8. Senior Lindsay Dove will be advancing to the State competition in January. “They announced second chair and it was my name and I could not believe it,” Dove said. “All of my friends and I jumped up and down as each one of our friends was called.”

Kaley Johnson, Reporter

At this year’s All-State Choir Pre-Area Audition, many choir students competed for the chance to make it to the area audition in January. Nine students were selected to advance this year making CPHS the school with the most students moving forward in the region in terms of 6A schools. 

The competition consists of three steps involving region, pre-area and area auditions. Most recently held was the pre-area where the 15 students who had advanced thus far were required to learn the entirety of certain songs so that when cuts were announced at auditions, students could successfully perform any part of the song. Along with this, students are required to perform a sight-reading portion. The top five chairs were then announced to continue to area.

Senior Lindsay Dove, who placed second chair in soprano 1, said that while she felt confident about her cuts she struggled with the sight-reading and was pretty sure it would end up being her downfall. Expecting to either not be ranked or to be at highest fifth, she was surprised by the outcome.

“When it came to the sight-reading I made a lot of mistakes,” Dove said. “After I got out of the room [I] thought there was no way I could’ve advanced with that sight-reading score. I had come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be moving on if I was not called as fifth chair. They announced second chair and it was my name and I could no believe it.”

Senior and fourth chair in tenor 2, Evan Vines said that his love for singing, especially when he finds a song he has a passion for, helped him stay confident and relaxed during his audition.

“I always feel pretty nervous before the actual auditions but I try my best to stay relaxed,” Vines said. “Afterwards I feel a sense of relief, especially after I learned that I was advancing to area.”

Similar to Dove, senior Ryan Sawicki’s placement of second chair in tenor 1 came as a surprise. He said that while he was more confident during his audition than he usually is for performances, he felt as though his cuts weren’t as good as they could’ve been.

“For me, I thought I wouldn’t make higher than fourth or fifth chair,” Sawicki said. “They called my name as second chair and I really couldn’t believe it, especially since I just joined choir in January of 2019 and I’d heard the competition and personally thought [many] were better than me.”

Since January auditions decide who performs in the All-State Texas Music Educators Association Choir, preparations for the new cuts are already underway. Students will compete against the rest of the top five competitors from all over the state. Dove plans on perfecting her cuts along with improving her sight-reading skills.

“To prepare for area auditions I am working with my vocal coach to put interesting dynamics into the pieces as well as rehearsing sight-reading every day,” Dove said. “We [also] have den sectionals every day where we run the songs and get feedback from them.”

The top nine chairs at area will be selected to either perform with the All-State mixed choir, men’s choir or women’s choir at the TMEA convention if February. Senior Kate Stedman, who placed fifth chair in Alto 1 and has been preparing and competing since freshman year, is very grateful for the chance to participate and learn throughout high school.

“This is my fourth year participating in the All-State process and it’s crazy to see how much I’ve grown as a singer since the first time I ever auditioned for the first round my freshman year,” Stedman said. “I think this process is really important because it allows you to compete individually and teaches you to work hard towards this end goal to have this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Other students advancing to the area audition include:

Soprano 2

Emma Vaughn (12)

Alto 1

Ally McKeon (12)

Alto 2

Marley Schaefer (11)

Tenor 2

Caden Teliha (11)

Aiden Pena (12)

Should one of the top five chairs be unable to compete in January, sophomore Ethan Hexter will also compete in the area auditions in tenor 1. If you see any of these students within the next few weeks make sure to tell them congratulations and wish them luck in January!