Choir sings their way to Regionals


During the Rouse vs. Cedar Park game, senior Rayna Mazumadar and the rest of the CPHS choir sang the National Anthem. Mazumadar was one of the 12 girls that is competing in Regionals. “Our choir teacher, Mrs. Holt, would sit with our voice parts and teach us the song section by section, making sure to cover the most important material and even the musical details that seemed unimportant but actually mattered a great deal in competition,” Mazumadar said.

Anjali Sundaram, Reporter

She nervously tapped her fingers against her thigh as she waited for her number to be called. Surrounded by her peers, all silently mumbling their verses, she couldn’t help but feel anxious. Only a select few would make it to the Regional level and the thought caused a lump in her throat. Finally, her number is called and she heads soundlessly into the auditions, ready to sing.

On Wednesday Sept. 30, choir headed over to Vandegrift High School to compete in District auditions. According to Choir teacher Lisa Holt, the District auditions bring them one step closer to being on the All-State Choir, which are Choirs made up of the best students from all over the state of Texas. Each year over 20,000 singers sign up, but only 500 will make it on to one of the three choirs which are: Mixed, Tremble and Men.

To be in the All-State Choir is a four-step audition process, and the girls are judged on pitch and rhythm, which are the main deciding factors, but also on dynamics, tone and voice placement, according to senior Rayna Mazumdar.

The Regional competition includes some noticeable districts such as Georgetown, Round Rock, Taylor, Lake Travis, etc. This year, Cedar Park had 12 girls make it to the Regional competition.

It is an honor to be selected to participate in the Region Choir.”

— Choir Teacher Lisa Holt

“Clinicians are brought in from prestigious universities to work with the students on their music and to prepare a memorable musical experience” Holt said.  “Students are given the opportunity to perform with some of the best singers in the area.”

While the girls had to go through the standard process this year, the boys did not have to compete in the district audition. Instead, they will start auditioning for Regionals. This is simply because of the ratio of guys to girls with the girls being a rather high number according to Holt.

Not only did CPHS have 12 girls make it to Regionals, senior Jessica Schnell was first chair. Since there were so many people auditioning for Regionals, each batch of people are split into zones. In these zones, one must compete for spots to make it to Regionals. Schnell had the highest score out of all the people in her zone, which made her first chair. She describes her anxiousness before the audition and her surprise when she got first chair.

“Since I was the first one auditioning for my zone, I was honestly terrified,” Schnell said. “Heck no, I didn’t expect first chair. I truthfully thought I was going to fail and not be able to advance and have to stay behind, and I was mostly surprised, after the surprise though it was mostly screams of joy and happiness.”

Another CPHS student that made it was Mazumadar and while she is a senior, she expresses how nerve-racking auditions can be.

“I’ve been doing district auditions for three years now, but for some reason I still get nervous,” Mazumadar said. “I would’ve liked to be calmer and collected during my audition, but I don’t think that I have any huge regrets.”

Making it into Regionals is no easy feat, according to Mazumadar. They prepare exuberantly in class and go over musical details.

While CP had 12 girls make it to Regionals, there are still four auditions to get through before one is on the All-State Choir. The top 10 singers from each round will then advance to the final round, where they will hopefully be able to go to the Area auditions.  Regionals will have a concert on Nov. 14 at Georgetown High School, which will be comprised of all students that made it into Regionals and will last the whole day.

As these 12 girls prepare for their auditions, the entire Choir will have a Fall Concert on Thursday Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in the PAC. The Fall Concert is put on to showcase everything the Choir has learned so far, according to junior Paris Varnier, who also claims that there is a lot more pop music incorporated in the show.

“My favorite part of the fall concert is singing Acapella music with season,” Varnier said. “Acappella is more challenging but it sounds really cool.”

2015-2016 holds many exciting opportunities for CPHS choir as they move on to Regionals and whilst they put on the Fall Concert.