Choir members compete for All-State virtually

Written by Andy (Tri) Ha

With choir competitions going online, the choir directors and students found this fall’s All State competition to be a little bit different from last year. 

“You record and send an audition in as opposed to auditioning in person,” senior Mai Hoang explained. “Compared to other years you can see your opponents, but this year I couldn’t, obviously.”

Because of the worldwide pandemic, virtual school was in session, but the Alief district decided to continue with its plans of All State online. During the summer, Hoang attended an online choir camp and practiced her music up until it was time for auditions. When she was ready, she pressed record and sent her video in. 

“I think that kind of makes it a lot easier and a lot better,” she said. “Just, you’re singing for your talent instead of getting the nervousness of having one shot.” 

The next stage of the competition only gets harder with high level sheet music and learning different languages to sing in. The competition only continues to get tense as even high chair singers like Hoang struggle. 

“This next level is a little bit harder cause it’s foreign language,” she described. “I have to work a lot harder on pronunciation because that’s where I fall off a little bit.” 

Despite this with auditions being a little easier being able to record multiple times, Hoang says that she prefers the previous years of the competition. She has been doing All State competitions since middle school and says it only gets easier for her every year. 

“I just got used to it and I kind of like the thrill.” she said. “It levels it off a bit more. It’s hard if everyone sends in a perfect recording so it’s harder to see placements.” 

Since everything is online this year, it has been hectic and stressful for all parties involved in the competition. Choir director Vanessa Winslow explained that despite all the questions she had for this year, she is happy the way it turned out. 

“I was just proud of the hard work,” she said, pleased. “I just want everyone to know how hard the choir kids work to get to that level. It’s very difficult.”