Choir produces twenty one regional qualifiers


Troylon Griffin II, Managing Editor

Creek’s choir members have been competing in Texas Music Educators Association’s All State Competition since late September. It is an annual competition that students are able to participate in every year. The competition is sponsored by the Texas Music Educators Association and is a way for students to embrace and promote their dedication to their musical knowledge and skills. There are four rounds of auditions in the competition before one can make it to state. These rounds, in order, are district, regionals, pre-area and area, before finally going to state. As of now, Travis Falknor, Iris Garcia, Zach Hoover and Sarah Hart are advancing to area with the hopes of going to state in January.

The competition is completely optional and hardly has a connection to Creek’s choir class. The sponsors of the All-State competition encourage music teachers to help students nevertheless, and choir teachers Mr. Park and Stultz are no exception.

If one if interested in competing, they first go to the district competition to try out, with the hopes of advancing to regionals. The judges select about twenty to thirty people to advance to regionals. Then after regionals, about fifteen are taken to continue to advance to pre-area and area. Among the singers, there are eight voice parts: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Girl singers tend to be soprano and alto while boys are usually tenor and bass. These voice parts are each divided into two kinds one higher and the other lower, thus making eight voice parts.

At the beginning of the year, choir members who are interested are given all the music they will need for all the rounds of competition. Each audition requires the singer to sing three songs. Some competitors attend camps at colleges during the summer to be more prepared for the auditions, leading to some to be at a disadvantage if they didn’t attend such camps. Travis Falkor, along with his brother Brandon Falknor, who qualified all the way up to pre-area, both felt the competition, having come into their ninth grade school year without any attendance to such camps.

“Many were already familiar with the music, while it was brand new to us,” Travis said, noting the intensity of competition due to competing against singers of all levels.

“It’s up against all grades. The voice parts are the only category that really divides you so I was going up against seniors and sophomores and juniors.”

But it was this kind of challenge that the brothers were looking for in competing in the competition. The two siblings had been in choir since fourth grade and therefore had much experience in singing. While they enjoyed the beginner’s choir, the two wanted more of a challenge. The y were more than excited, surprised and happy with how far they got.

“I felt amazing I’d made it all the way to pre-area because the voice part I’m in is a bit harder,” Brandon said. “Considering I am a freshman and didn’t go to an All-State camp, so I had to learn the music in a shorter amount of time than everyone else, I felt awesome to be able to advance that far, and now I’m more familiar with the process so next year I have a better idea of what I need to do to be prepared for this process next year.”

Travis, who is still competing and going to area, and has a chance to go to state, expressed similar thoughts.

“I was actually both excited and surprised that I made it,” Travis said. “Because tenor 1 is such an unpopular voice part, at district and region auditions, all the tenors were certified so everyone that was there got to advance, and then at pre-area there was the sight reading section which I had never done before, I knew there was a chance I might not make it, so I was just really surprised.”

The two have both expressed that the experience has definitely made them better singers and that they are more than ready to compete next year.

“Just being around all these singers that could be better than you makes you a better singer and I have no doubt that this has made us better singers.” Brandon said.

Other participants in the competition have felt similar ways. Junior Paige Eley, who made it all the way to pre-area, feels this has been an experience that has prepared her well for her final participation in the competition next year as a senior.

“It’s been amazing seeing everyone compete and give it their all doing what they love, as well as what I love: singing like we have been for so long.” Eley said.