HARKER HEIGHTS — When Harker Heights High School choir director Tommy Haygood posted the lineup for an upcoming concert on double doors of the choir room, Jessica Rabena walked right through the crowd surrounding the list.

Rabena was one of about 625 students who auditioned for a spot in the school’s annual Knight Club concert. She was too nervous to see if she made it, but as friends congratulated her, she realized she would be performing in the two-day show, which premieres Friday. Only about 60 students made it.

“It’s a really good feeling to know that you made the show,” said Rabena, a senior. “When I was younger, in middle school, I would go to the shows and I thought it was so amazing. I never thought that I’d be on stage performing.”

The musical show, which has 37 acts, will feature live bands from across the state as well as a professional light show.

“It’s a little bit scary because you’re held to a higher standard and you don’t want to disappoint anybody,” Rabena said. “But once it all comes together and you know you’re a part of something that great and that so many people want to go see ... it’s a really great feeling.”

Haygood said the show not only gives students an opportunity to sing and dance in a professional setting, but also lets them pick the country, pop, R&B and rock tunes they want to perform.

“There’s lighting and foggers and hazers. You really feel like you’re at a real rock concert,” Haygood said. “We actually have kids who have come out of this experience and are pursuing a singing career.”

Nathan Ybarra, a senior, said the show is a great example of what people can accomplish, even if others don’t believe in them.

“Ten years ago, if someone would have said that this show would be here today, most people would have been like, ‘Oh, that’s never going to happen,’” Ybarra said. “Because of our commitment to excellence and because of our director, Mr. Haygood, we’ve build this show up over the years up to the scale that it’s at and it’s going to get even bigger.”

Even though she’s excited to perform for the second year in a row, Rabena said it’s bittersweet.

“We have a senior song; it’s the last song of the show,” she said.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to be one of ones that after we come off stage, I’m going to be crying because it is sad. It’s is one of the main things that I enjoyed about high school.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at SarahRafique or "like" Sarah Rafique.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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