Making Music and Their Mark at UIL


Courtesy of Megan Riddle

The Lake Ridge Choir celebrated a triumphant weekend competing at UIL.

The Lake Ridge choirs felt amazing after their UIL performances, and even better when they learned they received sweepstakes, the highest honor. Choir Director Philip Glenn was excited to see them use their one shot to get such a high achievement.

“All four choirs did an amazing job. They earned superior ratings in concert performance and sight reading, which comes with a sweepstakes trophy. Ms. Myers and I are incredibly proud of the hard work all the choirs put in and the success they had at UIL as a result,” said Glenn.

The four choirs faced a very rigorous process to reach the success they had from April 12 to 14. For UIL competitions, schools have to learn three pieces of music with one usually being in a foreign language. After they are judged on a scale from one to five for their rehearsed songs, they perform a piece they have never seen before. While this may be difficult, many students feel the work seems easier when they’re passionate about choir. Senior, Allison McGrath, enjoys singing because she likes seeing the impact music can have on a person.

“I grew up singing, and this is a way for me to bond with some of my closest friends over music. Singing is such a powerful entity that can have such a huge impact on so many people, whether you’re the singer or the audience member, and I love the feeling of being proud when a song is over and you can hear the sound ring in the room,” said McGrath.

The choirs spend a lot of time rehearsing their music from when they first get it in January to when they perform it for judges. With so many songs to learn, students like McGrath feel that the most difficult part of the process is having to memorize their music.

“The hardest part in preparing for UIL was memorizing our individual parts in such complex pieces of music while also trying to achieve a “varsity-level” tone that we were not as focused on last year,” said McGrath.

Since this is one of the choir’s most important competitions of the year, it’s normal for them to feel like there’s pressure to do well. The seniors who have been in choir all throughout high school have more experience dealing with nerves at events like these than freshmen, but this event still puts pressure on the students since it only happens once a year. For senior Jordana Garcia, nerves are just a part of performing.

“I overcome nerves on stage by telling myself that the people judging us really want us to succeed, so I have nothing to worry about,” said Garcia.

Grade, age and how long they’ve been singing didn’t matter in the end when everyone, regardless of which choir they were in, shared the experience of getting the highest score. This has made the directors and the students proud, and success like this encourages them to do great again next year. Seniors and freshmen alike have learned a lot from this experience that they can carry on next year.

“I have learned that if you really want to get something done you can, even if it feels like there is not enough time. We did not have as much time to prepare for UIL as we would have liked due to snow days and COVID closures, but we were all invested enough to want to succeed that it was second-nature the day of the contest,” said McGrath.