The first round of the 2019 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Choir auditions took place on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Keller High School. The TMEA All-State Choir is an extremely prestigious state level choir that receives thousands of auditions each year at each of the four rounds of auditions.
So far, 38 Falcons have advanced to the next round in the competition. 39 percent of these students were in the top 10 chairs in the audition pools, which is essentially first through tenth place, first chair ranking the highest.
Preparing for all-state is a difficult and lengthy process. In order to prepare for their auditions, students received nine songs to learn at audition camps as early as July. For each round of competition, three of these songs will be selected and cut by TMEA for the students to sing. The choir department holds an all-state camp every summer and sight reading bootcamps throughout the year.
Students are already preparing for the next round of auditions through one on one sound checks with head choir director, Adrian Kirtley. At the end of October, the second round of auditions will begin, though this time, there will be sight reading auditions in addition to singing pieces.
Whether the competitors be freshmen or seniors, the pressure is on for everyone to succeed, which is why the choir program has such an extensive training process.
“I mean there’s a ton of pressure on everyone all the time. Someone cries at least once at an audition, but it’s so rewarding to look back throughout the year at the work you’ve done and realizing you’ve done it around all of the people you love most,” chamber choir member Rachel Merrith said. “Even if you don’t make all-state, you just grow so much as a musician and a person along the way.”