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On The Way to the Winner’s Circle

CLHS Choir Department Prepares for All-State and All-Region

Lauren Elliott, Staff Reporter

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The CLHS choir department has begun preparing the 2017 All-State and All-Region competition on October 21st. Jade Blakey, director, and Nick Leach, associate director, prepare students for the upcoming, rigorous competition.

“ All-Region and All-State are competitions that aim to encourage students to practice their own pieces and become more independent musicians” said Blakey.

The students learn music to sing for a panel of judges which determine their placement in choir. The judges are not allowed to see the singer in order to provide anonymity

Although the competitions are very similar in process the music selections learned typically have different difficulties..

In the All-State competition the pieces are picked by college directors while All-Region is selected by high school and intermediate school directors. Traditionally All-State provides more of a challenge to students who participate in it.

“ The joy of teaching kids for multiple years is that you can see their growth and I really see it in my seniors this year. They have been really dedicated to this process. I really hope they make All-state this year” said Blakey.

All-Region competition is one round while All-State is four rounds. All rounds incorporate different music pieces that the students must perfect.

“The Judges are asked to rank the students and the top students move on to the next round of auditioning” said Blakey.

Learning these pieces presents a challenge to students. The rhythms are the music are harder to learn than past years because they are more modern than the majority of what students are taught in the classroom.

“This years music in General isis a little bit easier vocally but it’s composed more recently so it’s more challenging to learn” said Blakey.

A new element being introduced this year is a master link. A master link is a large song that is very tedious and harder to learn. According to the choir teachers a good example of this is the song Gloria.

“Master links usually incorporates a chorus and a full orchestra, in a number of different sections called movements.” said Leach.  

For preparation students take initiative to practice their music after school, during tutorials, during lunch, or at home.  Both of the choir teachers provide tutorials to help students learn their music better.

Due to recent events student practice has been greatly affected.

“The lack of two weeks because of Harvey has been very challenging, in terms of getting our students prepared and feeling that we as teachers are doing a good job” Blakey said.

Still the students and teachers endure through all rounds and expect to place well this year. Choir students continue to work on their pieces and going into competition.

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