Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Singing To State

ENN Staff

Choir has always pushed students to be the best they can be and accomplish their goals, inspiring many to try out for the all-state choir. TMEA, the Texas Music Educators Association, sets up the auditions for the all-state choir. These auditions consist of four rounds that progressively get more difficult.

Singers from all grades worked hard to get past the different phases of the audition. As the music got harder, more practice was necessary to be successful. Sophomore Brenden Box made it to round three by putting in hours of effort.

“I’ve always been a little bit ambitious when it comes to choir. I’ve always wanted to be in the top choirs, do as many activities as I can, especially starting in ninth grade when I finally realized that this is where I’m supposed to be,” Box said. “I practiced basically every day and a lot of the time, it would be one or two hours a day. I’d work with my fellow choir mates, and I had a ton of one-on-one sessions with them.”

The choir directors also worked to prepare their students for auditions. They held after school rehearsals and set up mock auditions. Choir directors Karyn Myers and Philip Glenn helped their students gain confidence and feel comfortable with their music.

“Before we even have the auditions, we’re going to have rehearsals after school,” Myers said.  “We talk about making sure that we’ve got dynamics and we have musicality. We go section by section and make sure everyone has their appropriate notes. If they struggle on certain notes or certain parts, then we will pause there and we’ll go back and review it until they feel more confident. We have them practice or sing together, and we also have them sing by themselves so we can make specific notes to each student.”

Being judges gave Glenn and Myers an edge in helping their students. Their experience helped them prepare students to their best ability. Glenn understands the challenges his students face.

“Being a judge is tricky because every judge is looking for something a little bit different. Personally, I am not interested just in people that have a big voice,” Glenn said. “You don’t know who’s behind the curtain singing, so you think ‘if that person had only done a crescendo here or done more consonants.’ You can go back to your students and specifically talk about those things.”

The audition process includes schools from different regions and brings choirs together. The number of singers also added to the competition the musicians faced. Junior Nadia Korfe met many new singers during the audition process.

“Because you’re spending so much time as a group practicing music together you just build relationships with those people who love music just as much as you do, and have that drive to work in the TMEA Process,” Korfe said. “Girls overall have it more difficult than guys just because singing for girls is a lot more popular. Soprano, I would say, is the most competitive.”

TMEA is a way to challenge a singer’s skills and make them better musicians. It opens the students to improvement as they face experienced performers. Junior Ethan Tran worked hard to make it to the final auditions.

“TMEA challenges me because, when you get to the higher rounds, you’re never the best one there. It’s always a competition of you improving yourself. This year I’ve really dedicated a lot of time, since round two, I’ve been practicing at least an hour or two every day,” Tran said. “The best part of TMEA is not necessarily making it to all-state, but all the memories and experiences you make.”

About the Contributor
Rebecca Rios
Rebecca Rios, ENN Staff