Seven Kilgore High School choir students will spend Memorial Day weekend in Pflugerville for a state music competition, but they still got to play in their final month of school.
For some, this will be their first trip to the state-level solo and ensemble competition, but everyone had the opportunity to perform in the annual pop-variety show May 8.
“(The pop-variety show) is an opportunity for those who have never shined to get out there and surprise people with what’s in there,” KHS choir director Becky Sullivan said.
At that show, students performed for five judges who selected their favorites – selections which are always a surprise for Sullivan, she said.
“I’ve never, never gotten it right,” she said. “I’ve never hit the nail on the head. It’s always been different, but that’s why we have five judges.”
No matter what the judges said, though, the members agreed one of the best things is how supportive everyone is of each other.
The show offers an opportunity for the vocalists to do something different; they do not typically get to do pop songs as a solo or ensemble piece during the year, Hanna Runions said.
“It’s like all year we sit here and we listen to each other as a group, and then when it comes to the pop show time, it’s really a chance for the whole choir to step back and recognize each other as an individual,” she said. “It’s really nice to see that.”
Their music styles vary from country to classic rock to Broadway.
Eight of the KHS choir students, along with representatives from the orchestra and band, will represent KHS at the state music competition at the end of the month.
Shelby Woods said she does not know what to expect on her first trip to state, but said she is excited for the simple reason that it’s state.
Getting to the state competitiom takes hours of practice for the solo.
“They have to sing a Class 1 solo at the local level – the district level – and if they make a superior rating on that, then that qualifies them for state,” Sullivan said. “They do have to put a lot of hard work in individually. I don’t have time to work with them all the time. It’s a lot of individual practice.”
Being judged on their performances, though, is not scary because it has been happening all year at different choir competitions, she said.
Sullivan counts it a privilege to work with the students and help them develop their voices.
“Some of them I’ve had since ninth grade and I’ve been able to watch them develop vocally and watch them mature,” she said.
One of her favorite things, she said, is to see students come out of their shell and perform on stage after wanting to cry – or actually crying – during individual practices and lessons.
“It’s kind of like a mom watching her child develop,” Sullivan said.