Chamber choir to perform for state officials, retired teachers


Laura Smith

Chamber choir members Krissy Niles, Tori Ross and Nolan Quintanilla review “I Will Lift Mine Eyes” prior to beginning music theory class.

The chamber choir will perform for retired teachers and state government officials including state senator Kel Seliger at the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) District 16 Fall Conference at 9:30 a.m. in the Region 16 Education Service Center. 

After a TRTA member recommended the choir perform, Canyon TRTA president Treasure Brasher invited the group to sing the national anthem at the beginning of the conference. The group will also perform “I Will Lift Mine Eyes” by Jake Runestad.

We like to sit back and watch kids do what they’re good at.

— Treasure Brasher, Canyon TRTA president

“Mrs. Boren, our principal, was approached by the TRTA,” head choir director Brandon Farren said. “They had caught a snippet of us doing ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ for graduation last year. She called Mrs. Boren and said, ‘That choir is unbelievable. We would like for them to come and sing for this get-together we’re having.’”

The choir is among several panhandle organizations contributing to the conference.

“It was one of the teachers from a different school who heard this group and said they were fantastic and we needed to ask them,” Brasher said. “We use school students a lot. One of the ROTC units will do the presentation of colors. We’re retired teachers. We like to sit back and watch kids do what they’re good at.”

The conference will also include updates to state law affecting current and retired teachers.

“The politicians will speak to us, and then we’ll hear a summary of what’s going on on the state level, both in our teacher retirement system and the state changes,” Brasher said. “The overall purpose is to find out what things are coming down in the state legislatures.”

Brasher said the TRTA is one of the most effective organizations to represent retired school teachers.

“Most of the major accomplishments for retired teachers have come through that organization,” Brasher said. “We also work to improve a lot of current teachers because we were there once. The Texas Retired Teachers Association has represented Texas teachers for over 50 years.”

Watch the Canyon High Choir perform at the 2017 WTAMU Christmas Concert courtesy of PBS.

Farren said the Texas panhandle’s choir programs are a hidden gem.

“We’ve always had strong choirs up here,” Farren said. “We’ve always been known for that. You compare the Canyon High School chamber choir to any other choir in the state of Texas, and we are as good, if not better than, all of them. It’s a little to show off and a little to show that music education is important, even in the panhandle.”