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Sing It Like You Mean It

Choir students review their UIL competition

Nicole Rubin

Nicole Rubin

Abby Schiwitz and Lena Partain

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Choir competed in their UIL competition on April 4 through 6. The non-varsity Nova Choir, the 5A varsity mixed choir, Chorale, and the varsity 5A Chorale Women performed in this annual competition located at Heritage High School.

“Choirs are scored based on a number of criteria but they get a rating of one, two, three, four, or five,” choir director Mrs. Franklin said “One is superior. We always try to get a one, but that’s based on technique, tuning, and lots of criteria.”

Songs were chosen from a prescribed music list based on the each choir’s skill and ability.

“Nova will perform ‘Hotaru Koi,’ ‘I Have Touched The Face Of God,’ and ‘The Water’s Wide,’” freshman Sarah Kapoor, a soprano in Nova, said. “In my opinion, Hotaru Koi was the hardest to learn because it’s in Japanese, and it’s really fast.”

The women’s varsity will vocalize ‘Kyrie Eleison,’ ‘Bloom,’ and ‘Deo Gracias.’ Chorale will sing ‘Festival Sanctus,’ ‘Sing We and Chant it,’ and ‘In Time of Silver Rain.’  

“5A varsity, which is where we’re at, is a really competitive bracket,” junior Ian Lawson, a tenor in the varsity mixed choir, said. “Most schools are 5A and a lot of the music is really hard when it’s 5A. The sight reading is crazy.”

In sight reading, choirs are given six minutes to perform a piece they have not seen without singing, then perform the piece twice in front of three judges.

“For me, sight reading is the hardest because this year we’re going as a varsity choir,” senior Emma Vestal said. “We have notes that are really hard for me to hear in my head when we’re practicing.”

On March 22, the choirs attended Pre-UIL, a practice UIL in which the choirs are not scored, but are only given comments from the judges used to improve in the weeks leading up to UIL.

“I think we did pretty good in Pre-UIL,” Vestal said. “For one of our songs, my section was off a little bit, but we will work on it.”

UIL is a vying competition due to everything that is at stake and because of all the talented groups that attend.

“I think it’s just a stressful thing in general just because there’s so much at stake,” Lawson said. “It’s so competitive, so the stress of it is definitely the hardest part.”

While UIL takes a lot of preparation, it’s what happens on stage that reflects the score.

“I think it motivates a lot of people,” Lawson said. “The people who really care about the choir and feel for it, I feel like UIL pushes them even more to be passionate. Anything that’s super competitive like that, it helps you grow a lot.”

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