Choir advances 31 participants to All-State Pre-area


Photo by Aparnna Manoj

Soprano 1 Caitlin Kresta practices with her sectional during block lunch in the choir room before All State Pre-area.

Thirty-one choir All-State participants advanced to Pre-area on Nov. 29 at Northwest High School and are preparing to have their choir members narrowed down for future rounds. The area round is on Jan. 12.

“Some of those students [didn’t think] they could make it,” choir director Rachel Forester said. “[They didn’t think they had] the expertise and the poise, but they auditioned better than they thought they would in some cases.”

The choir received its music on May 1 and started working on the cuts (sections of the music being judged) during the summer. Students chose different All-State camps to attend and receive guidance. Once back in school, choir began working on the music in sectionals and with the directors.

“Breathing is key to making music and is something I’m heavily focusing on so that I am able to add musicality to my singing,” senior Jai Arora said. “Having breath support and control allows me to crescendo and decrescendo through phrases as well gives me taller vowels.”

During the second round of auditions, the participants’ tasks include singing their cuts and sightreading in front of the judges. The contests get more difficult as they get closer to the final. Although they practice as a choir, the participants go in alone. The judge and auditioner don’t see each other in order to keep anonymity. Senior Vismaya Joseph has participated in All-State choir all four years of her choir career.

“I feel like [having the four years experience] has helped me mentor other people who need help within choir,” Joseph said. “It really helps with the nerves. You get a confidence after four years, and you can expect certain things.”

The competition has dwindled down to a handful of advancers for the area round; different regions go against each other, like Denton, Lewisville and Dallas.

“To get the chance to move on to the next round of All-State is such a blessing,” senior Selwin Stanly said. “The students and directors support each of us, which makes it worthwhile and brings the motivation needed to continue [because] there’s a great amount of work that goes into All-State auditions.”

Many of the advancers are seniors and have participated in All-State competitions all four years of their choir career, like senior Jai Arora.

“Since it’s my last year in choir and high school overall, I want to make the most out of the opportunity of the whole All-State process,” Arora said. “Music has been a big part of my life since I was in grade school, and making All-State as a senior would be a dream come true. Singing is something I do to get away from all the other daily stresses of life and I would love to leave the Hebron Choir knowing I gave it my all.”