Choir UIL

Keana Saberi, Reporter

From the weeks of preparation to the endless dedication, Choir UIL is a huge event for Choir kids and the process of work is extremely tedious and long.  On March 6th and 7th, both Honor and Treble choirs went to Georgetown High school to put their long earned talent to the the test. The three songs that each groups picked take a great amount of work as some of the songs are in Latin or French and require weeks of intense grammatical practice along with the school’s Choir directors, Mr. Vara and Mrs. Alexander who are aided by Mr. Maus, who is the in school voice teacher and who plays piano for the choir program. The UIL contest consists of two main components, the choral performance in the auditorium as well as the sight reading room with a panel of three kind yet harsh judges.  The competition can take up almost a whole school day, as different schools go between the Canyon Vista Choirs. This requires extreme focus from the choir kids, to take in the work of the other choirs and to be a quiet and respecting audience.

During the course of the day, Canyon Vista choirs try to contain their nervousness and mutual excitement as they go through the events,  and when it’s their time to go into the warm up room, they receive exactly 20 minutes to go through a brief pep talk before going through their songs and practicing the parts of the songs that seem to need minor adjustments. The students practice their work, and soon they are on their way up onto the open stage, to sing, under the guidance of their choral director ( either Mr.Vara or Mrs. Alexander depending on which choir you are in) and as the music flutters the medley of piano and beautiful voices merge together in an a astounding symphony. After the judges listen to the performance, they discuss privately and rate the choir based on tone, level of sound, and other technical aspects.

The choir then heads into the Sight Reading room where they stand in front of a panel of three different judges than in the Auditorium. The students keep the music at their sides, not allowed to view the music until the judges proclaim so.  When allowed to look at the music, they begin practicing and chanting the music array with their director for the allotted time and the director provides feedback. When the time is up, the director must give the choir only three chords and no further instruction before the choir sings the piece without any more  verbal guidance from the director. After that first singing run through, the choral director talks through the mistakes and highlights of the first reading before the second singing run through. When the second singing run through is finished, the judges rate based on fluency and overall choral harmony. Then the choir exits the room and both the judges from the Auditorium and Sight Reading room come  together to discuss their collected scores. They then take  the most common score between the judges and  the final score for the choir is decided. If you receive ones in both the stage and reading portions, the choir wins a Sweepstake prize to take back to the choir room.

Whether the choir receives a Sweepstakes or not, the experience helps to better the confidence of the Choir members and to have a fun yet hard and stressful day.