Choir members advance to State


Nikki Hanson

Several choir students advanced to the State level of competition.

Karly Ray, Writer

Several choir students recently competed at the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest. Of those students, 29 received superior ratings for their Class 1 solos and will be competing at the State UIL Solo and Ensemble contest in Pflugerville in June 2019.

The following students received superior ratings: Aubree LeJeune, McKenzie Guillory, Elizabeth Johns, Kamri Swarers, A’nayeli Hernandez, Rylie Dollar, Lili Riedel, Shelby Smith, Zoe Ryan, Natalie Gonzales, Makayla Kusek, Mallory Robinson, Lily Doucet, Robyn Courmier, Marcus Barlow, Justin Willey, Payton Martinez, John Paul Sulak, Genesis Leon, Hannah Tait, Rachel Belcher, Aidan Croaker, Caleb Weaver, Nicholas Hanson, Ethan Martin, Luke Spell, Tyren Dews, Evey Adalco, and Melanie Cupp.

At the solo and ensemble competition, each student or ensemble member learns his or her song and performs it for a judge. The judge then uses a guide, and if they believe the student is prepared and has performed his or her solo with such a standard, the student will receive a rating which allows the student to advance to State.

“Each student selected a song from the Prescribed Music List (PML),” choir director Nikki Hanson said. “Music on the PML list include classical, spirituals, American songs, and more. There are also different languages students may sing, such as German, Italian, Latin, etc.”

According to Hanson, the first level of competition went very well and the judges gave many compliments to the students. They commented how the students were well-behaved, prepared, and how much they enjoyed their performances. Hanson said she hopes her students learn that hard work pays off, and also that they learn to do their best and to grow from their experience.

To prepare for competition, students chose their solo pieces before Christmas. Doing so allowed the students to begin working to learn each solo as they returned from the holidays. Although, students are encouraged to prepare and study their solos before they return. This way, students can work at their maximum level.

“My goal is to have the students who are performing at State be prepared as possible,” Hanson said. “I will work with them individually, but I express how important it is for them to put in the time needed to prepare for their State performance outside of class time.”

Even though this is mostly an individual event, Hanson sees that there is a sense of camaraderie among the students. They truly wish the best for each other. She has even heard students helping and giving advice to their peers as they prepare.

Hanson said she loves loves working with her students and she is excited to hear and see how the students grow in their musical abilities.

“We are looking forward to time together,” Hanson said. “It is always a fun, learning experience for us as a group and individually. I wish all of the students the best, and I am excited to see how they grow and perform for the next level.”