Over the next two months, more than 70,000 high school students across Texas will audition in their respective region to ultimately qualify for the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Bands, Orchestras and Choirs.

More than half of Copperas Cove High School’s choir members who qualified for the Region 8 Choir advanced to the state contest and will perform Nov. 10 at the Midway Performing Arts Center.

Daniel Montgomery, CCHS director of choirs, said the all-region audition is an excellent way to start the school year.

“It allows the kids a really early opportunity to put forth effort and excel at singing,” Montgomery said. “It also gives me an opportunity to know them better and provide them with some individual attention. Our late evening group rehearsals have become wonderful bonding experiences for the kids with good company, good singing, and good pizza.”

CCHS senior Gabrielle Aterado advanced to the All-State Choir last year and qualified again this year. She was the first student CCISD had qualify for the elite state level in more than a decade.

“This process has been such a life-changing experience to my music career,” Aterado said. “The long hours spent practicing has increased my integrity and my perception on music.”

Individual singers perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each voice part. A select group of vocalists advances to compete against vocalists from other regions in their TMEA Area.

The highest-ranking vocalists judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform at one of 15 Texas All-State Choirs.

Combining with students selected for the 15 Texas All-State Bands, Orchestras, the all-state ensembles rehearse for three days, directed by nationally recognized conductors, and perform on the closing day of the annual TMEA Clinic/Convention.

For Cameron Dinkens, CCHS associate director of choirs, the qualifying competitions are like stepping back in time.

“It’s crazy being on this side of it now. I went through this process with (Daniel) Montgomery six to seven years ago,” Dinkens said. “All-state prep allows all of us to focus on the extra steps that create healthy choral singing and vocal production as a whole.

“I love having the time to help each student find his or her individual voice to use. I love how they have the realization of a relaxed sound and immediately get terrified of how easy it is. These kids put in so much work that it re-inspires me as an educator.”

Choir students

Copperas Cove High School students who qualified at the regional competition are:

  • Christina Smith
  • Gabriella Gorres
  • Parker Reed
  • Saara Fortner*
  • Kaitlyn Huston*
  • Gabrielle Aterado-Smith*
  • Jacob Najera*
  • Romeo Anthoney*
  • Brelan Lofton*
  • Tatiana Morales*

* Advance to the state contest

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