Record number of choir students qualify for all-region, advance to pre-area


Erin Sheffield

Sophomore Alexis Bodkin sings “Schicksaslied” by Brahms during a rehearsal for Pre-Area auditions.

After placing at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-Region audition, a record 43 choir students will compete at the pre-area audition at Amarillo College Dec. 7. Students who place in the top at this meet will audition at the state audition Jan. 12.

The auditions include two sections, sight reading a short, random portion of music, and performing cuts from the selected pieces of music for that audition. Students do not know what portion of the music they will be asked to sing before the audition but can practice the entire piece beforehand.

“The kids love to be able to push themselves a little bit,” head choir director Brandon Farren said. “It forces you to really start to work on your practice habits outside of school because we don’t cover anything in class. It teaches you how to be an independent music learner without having a director spoon-feed you.”

You’re super scared and nervous, but you go sing.

— Jolie Mullins, 11

Junior Jolie Mullins, who placed fourth chair small school soprano, said the competition is enjoyable despite the stress which accompanies it.

“It’s a fun day,” Mullins said. “All the work leading up to it is super hard, but once you get there you get to hang out with everyone, they call your number, and you go sing. You’re super scared and nervous, but you go sing, then spend the rest of the day talking about what you did wrong and what you could’ve done better.”

Farren said those just beginning high school choir often experience great growth from the audition process.

“It’s amazing to watch these freshmen come up from junior high, and it’s so much more intense than anything they’ve done before,” Farren said. “They come in very shy and apprehensive about the whole thing, and by they time you get done with region and pre-area, they’re so much more confident and willing to step out because they find their voice, which is what I really love to see.”

Mullins said she attributes a portion of her success to the voice lessons she chose to take in preparation for the competition.

“I started taking voice lessons just this year to help with the all-state process, and that has been the biggest factor in it,” Mullins said. “It’s that one-on-one time you don’t get as a group in the choir, and you can take time to focus on your voice. I found a whole new way to sing, and it made me a better musician altogether.”

“It’s a life changing event that is educationally sound and valid.

— Brandon Farren

Farren said although choir may be an activity to perform in one’s downtime, it is not simply a hobby but also an academic medium for its members.

“I think some people think choir is a fun hobby and they’re right–it’s a great release from the business of every day, but it’s incredibly academic challenging,” Farren said. “It’s not just a hobby we do here, but it’s a life-changing event that is educationally sound and valid. I’m not sure everybody understands that.”

Large School:

Soprano 1

Erin Sheffield-1st

Krissy Niles-2nd

Tori Ross-9th

Soprano 2

Katelyn Spivey-1st

Alexes Bodkin-2nd

Haley Williams-4th

Alto 1

Audrey Hughes-1st

Rebecca Granda-2nd

Meghan Brooks-3rd

Alto 2

Emma Sheets-2nd

Kaleigh Rodarte-Suto-6th

Gracie Tidmore-10th

Tenor 1

Kaleb Donais-3rd

Tenor 2

Levi Wilkins-4th

Bass 1

Josh Moreno-2nd

Mark Porter-3rd

Rafe Butcher-8th

Bass 2

Brennen Copeland-2nd

Tobin Brooks-3rd

James Lemmon-7th

Small School:


Jolie Mullins-4th

Bethani House-6th

Macy Lawrence-9th

Bella Haynes-16th

Katherine Clark-17th


Mia Bonds-4th

Danielle Burns-8th

Devin Robinson-10th

Kathryn Culbert-11th

Alyson Hunt-13th

Mallory Wright-14th


Dayton Cornelius-5th

Pace Kear 10th


Conner Nall-1st

Kelton Harbison-3rd

Bret Ramirez-6th

Ethan Evers 8th

Landon Finke-9th

Lane Miller-12th

Rayden Caster-14th

Julian Sewell-15th