Pearce students participate in highly competitive choir competition

By Carly Harsha | Business Manager

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The Pearce Choir had several students audition on Jan. 11 for the Texas Music Educators Association Region III Choir in mid-November. Those who moved on past phase III then participated in area auditions.

“All of the participants know that it requires a lot of self-taught work,” choir director Michael Lysinger said. “They can go to their voice teachers, other students, and me. I help them with specifics and polishing.”

The students who performed in the auditions had to prepare for the three difficult pieces of music and practice their sight-reading, which is where students must read eight measures of music and sing it to the best of their ability in a short amount of time.

“We started working on our pieces very early. Even during the summer there were clinics that gave us an advantage for the upcoming competition,” junior Katie Kring said. “Mr. Lysinger also allowed us lots of time in class to work.”

Mr. Lysinger, who teaches Forte and A Cappella, ensured that all students were prepared with their best work. He worked with the students before, during and after school on their audition pieces and practicing sight-reading.

“Mr. Lysinger helped all of us prepare by teaching us the music and holding sectionals and one-on-ones out of class,” senior Rachel Anderson said.

The students who auditioned had to pass two phases of auditions in order to be selected for the All-Region choir. Students are placed in two different choirs, Mixed Choir and Women’s Choir, after passing the auditions and being given chairs.

“This year was relatively more difficult than previous years, seeing as there are more and more students competing. The first round was was more accessible but definitely more challenging,” Lysinger said.

The top 10 chairs of each voice part moved on to pre-area auditions for Region III.

“The competition was very tough because of the amount of students participating,” junior Caroline Jaimes said. “There are tons of high schools that enter, and they’re all so good. It made preparation that much more important.”

In Region III auditions, students are given a selected cut from the given pieces of music and must sight-read at a more difficult level. The top five chairs of the pre-area audition move on to area auditions.

Three students, Connor Robertson, Brett Carpenter and Caroline Jaimes, advanced to area auditions, which took place at A&M; Commerce. Connor advanced onto the All-State Choir and Caroline received second alternate.

“To give an idea of how competitive the competition is, almost 20,000 students begin the All-Region process. By the time it gets down to the end, the top three choirs can only hold about 450 spots. Being in Texas definitely makes it that much harder for singers,” Mr. Lysinger said.

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