Keller High choir selected to perform at state conference

Posted Monday, Jul. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Keller High School choir department recently received recognition for excellence when the Varsity Treble Choir was selected to perform at the 2014 annual conference for the Texas Music Educators Association.

About 60 choir members will go to San Antonio in February to sing for thousands of choir directors and music teachers from across the state.

"It's a huge honor to be a TMEA choir," said Chi-Chi King, head choir director. "To be able to say we've been selected as one of just a few from all the choirs in the state of Texas is a big deal."

For the 2013 conference, five high school groups were chosen. King said that choirs interested in performing must submit a 10- to 15-minute recording of their best work from the past two years. A committee selects groups based solely on their singing without knowing what schools they represent. She has applied for the honor a number of times in her 18 years at Keller High but has never had a group chosen.

King credits Alex Carr, assistant director and "technical guru," with putting together an excellent CD to submit. They chose three contest songs from 2013 and one from 2012.

Kim Blann, district director of fine arts, said the Indian women's choir will be the first KISD choir to perform at the TMEA convention.

King said the group would give a concert of about 25 minutes for professional musicians and music educators.

The Varsity Treble Choir typically includes about 50 singers, but King will take 60 to 65 to participate in the TMEA convention. Girls who were in treble choir last year but are in mixed choir this year will boost the number of performers.

Blayke Drury, an incoming senior and Keller High choir president, said, "Our entire choir program is so excited for our choir to be chosen out of the whole state of Texas. It will be a neat experience to go to San Antonio and perform for all the directors."

The Keller High choir department has a reputation for excellence. More than 250 students participate in the program, which has eight choirs.

Last year, eight students earned spots in All State Choirs after advancing through multiple rounds of competition. About 50 students advanced to the state University Interscholastic League's solo and ensemble contest, with more than 20 earning gold medals.

Singers who want to try for All State Choirs begin working on music over the summer. Those musicians and others who go to contests have before and after school rehearsals throughout the fall.

"We have excellent young people, and their work ethic is exceptional," King said.

Drury said much of the success is due to King. "We have a very good atmosphere in our program, and students are willing to work for her. We get out what she puts into it," Drury said.

Choir is a positive place where the directors and singers focus on including and encouraging everyone, no matter whether they are great musicians or sing for enjoyment.

"It's not just a class you go to every day, it's a family," Drury said.

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