Four students selected for TMEA All-State Choir

More than 100 students from various schools wait nervously as a judge reads a list of names to the assembled group. When he is finished, many of them seem disappointed, but a large number are also celebrating. Just four Westlake students — juniors Elekos Praxis and Charly Hibler and seniors Vishakha Mallya and Susannah Crowell — are part of the celebrating group. These four have just learned that they were selected for the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Choir.

The auditioning process for All-State began in October and consisted of three rounds—region, pre-area and area. In each of these rounds, the choir students would sing pieces of music for three judges. Those who did well enough would advance to the next round. The final results of who had made the All-State Choir were released Jan. 11, the day of the area competitions at Reagan High School in San Antonio. This was a day later than originally scheduled due to delays from weather.

“After everyone finished their audition we couldn’t leave until the judges were done and the chairs were announced,” said Charly, who got fifth chair. “It was around 8 [p.m.] when the judges finally emerged. I was listening to the main judge read out the bass chairs and after he announced sixth chair, I was pretty sure I didn’t make it, but then he said I was fifth chair. I felt satisfied that all the work I put into it actually amounted to something because last year I got to the last round, but didn’t make it.”

The four students, along with many others from various schools around Texas, will be going to San Antonio Feb. 11-14 for a rehearsal and concert. The first three days of this trip will be used for the students to learn new pieces of music. On the final day, they will perform in the Lila Cockrell Theater for an audience made up of mostly family and TMEA members. The rehearsals and concert allow the students not only more opportunities to practice their singing, but also the chance to meet and sing with students from other areas of the state.

“It will be exhilarating to be inside the mixed choir of the 200 best singers around Texas,” Elekos said. “I can’t imagine the feeling of being inside such a powerful, elite group of singers.”