By: MaKalie Farmer

Last week 14 choir students competed in regional TMEA, Texas Music Education Association, competition. Out of those 14, nine students will advance to the Pre Area audition on November 18th.

“At TMEA everyone is really stressed out,” soprano one Leann Bailey, senior, said. “But since it was my last year, I felt very laid back and the experience was very unique.”

TMEA is the Texas Music Education Association. There are three levels of the competition starting with regional. Students went to Odessa Permian high school and sang in front of a panel of judges anonymously. From there judges placed the students in “chairs”. The top 12 chairs for girls and 10 for boys advance to the pre area competition. Those students compete again at area and the top five people sing in the boys or girls choir, and the top two sing in the TMEA mixed choir.

“I went to an online summer camp where we learned the music,” soprano one Vicky Gao, junior, said. “Then I also attended the after school practices held by our choir directors.”

In order to prepare for this, students attended an online Zoom class with the choir instructors, Mrs. Weeks and Mr. Derrick. After school practices were also held by the choir instructors that allowed students to be prepared for the competition.

“The best part is always the trip,” tenor two Harrison Smith, senior,  said. “A lot of it is just waiting around so you really get to connect with people in your choir, it’s just always a really fun experience.”

For soprano 1, Leann Bailey made 5th chair, Mira Savage made 9th chair, and Vicky Gao made 11th chair.

In Alto 1, Hope Arrazola earned 2nd chair, Kelsie Patterson placed 8th chair, Mattie Spaulding earned 9th chair, Hope Fambrough earned 10th chair, and Molly Mercer earned 11th chair.

Tenor 2 Harrison Smith placed 2nd chair.

Zoe Wilson, Shelby Anders, Belle Marz, Jentry Bennett, and Jadyn Jones placed but will not advance to Pre Area. These students along with ones mentioned above will sing in the Region choir concert on November 6th at Odessa Permian.

“I made state last year, so it’s definitely a goal of mine to get to state again this year but get a higher chair,” Smith said. “I would love to make the mixed choir.”

Abilene High will host the Fall Choir Concert next Monday, October 25th at 7:30 in the auditorium.

“I love the music,” Smith said. “We get to be exposed to all different kinds of music and you get to sing it with people you enjoy being around, it’s just really great.”