Bring It to Sing It

Choir Performs at Concert After Advancing Past Region Auditions

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Photo courtesy of Charlotte Newman

Posing in their choir dresses, seniors Ava Callaway and Charlotte Newman take a photo at the Region concert. The concert was held on Nov. 12, and 47 of the choir program’s students practiced for 10 hours in preparation for the concert. “I love the Region concert,” Newman said. “It’s the best voices in the region all together, so basically every moment is so musical. I think my favorite part was definitely our ending song “Trinity Te Deum.” It’s just a gorgeous, happy song that is full of so many powerful chords.”

Madison Shields, Editor

Singing filled the PAC at Leander High School on Saturday as choir students from around the district participated in a Region concert. Singers who placed high enough at Region auditions on Oct. 15 spent 10 hours Saturday practicing in preparation for the concert.

Senior Ava Callaway, who placed second chair at Region auditions, sang five songs during the concert and said her favorite was “Joy Never Leaves.”

“It was a really long day, but it was definitely worth it in the end,” Callaway said. “First we had to get there super early and warm up all together. Then, we split into different voice parts with clinicians. After sectionals, we all came together and sang all the songs and went over all the details. Everyone there was super talented and I could tell that everyone enjoyed being there and singing with everyone.”

Choir students had to sing their songs numerous times over the course of the day, so there’s a lot of repetition involved, but it’s worth it according to senior Charlotte Newman, who is the choir president.

“We spend the whole day rehearsing the pieces with a clinician, so that we can find our sound as a choir who had never previously sung together before,” Newman said. “It’s definitely a lot of tweaking and re-singing the same parts over and over again, but it’s so worth it because the concert is one of the best that we will put on all year.”

This concert is an annual event that allows Leander ISD students who advanced past Regions Auditions to sing for their families. The Cedar Park choir program more than doubled the number of students advancing to the next Pre-Area round at Region auditions than any other school in the district. A total of 70 students participated in the auditions, with 36 students moving on to the next round. The Nov. 12 concert allowed 47  out of the 70 students the opportunity to sing.

For Region, choir students find out the music they’ll perform during their auditions in May, they then have until October to rehearse certain pieces for the first round. They don’t sing the entire song for the audition, instead they are given cuts of their songs that are around 30 seconds long and are performed in front of the five judges that sit behind a divider. The divider keeps the singers identity a secret while they perform in order to ensure there are no biases within the auditioning process. Senior and varsity choir member, Olivia Alvis, constantly prepared for Region auditions as the date got closer.

“We had sectionals during DEN every week,” Alvis said. “So I would go to sectionals every day, and then at home, on my own time, I would practice on my own. Then, I’d make sure I had everything down and then follow and listen to the tracks.”

After completing the auditions, the students had to wait until their chairs were announced. If a singer didn’t get placed in a high enough chair, they didn’t advance any farther through the Region process. Newman and senior Julian Rabago placed first chair for Alto 1 and Bass 2 respectively. The news was totally unexpected, according to Newman.

“I was totally shocked,” Newman said. “With my audition, I figured I had made the choir, but the way my friends described my audition made me think I had not made first chair. My director called me and I told her some not very appropriate words, with my parents and Granny standing right there. So it was pretty surreal. I never quite thought of myself as a first chair singer, so to have that validation is very special to me.”

Now that the concert is over, Pre-Area is the choir’s point of focus. All of the qualified singers have begun to prepare for the next round. After obtaining first chair out of every other Bass 2 singer, there’s nothing to be nervous about, according to Rabago.

“It was very nice,” Rabago said. “I’ve been trying for four years to get first chair, so it was an exciting feeling to win. I’m not really too nervous. I just want to scope out my competition for the next round and just see how they’re doing.”