Choir Members Excel at State Competition


Members of the Treble Choir gather around Choir Director Donna Solverud in early fall.

Eight singers quietly step into a small classroom, judges waiting patiently to listen to their song. Several of them have already sung this morning, but all of them have been anticipating this performance. Senior Kaylee Wright introduces the group, and a beautiful tune begins to effortlessly escape their lungs. 

On March 4, 11 singers from FHC Choir attended the MHSAA Solo and Small Ensemble Music Festival, where soloists or groups are required to prepare two contrasting songs to perform for judges. Many of those musicians received the highest rating on their performances, allowing them to sing at State Solo and Ensemble in April. 

Everybody that’s not in choir just thinks you sing the song, then if it sounds pretty you get to go to State, and it’s just not. It’s so much harder than that.

— Aubrey Hunter

Senior Aubrey Hunter performed in two different ensembles as well as prepared a solo, receiving three ratings of “Exemplary,” the highest rating in the festival. But for Hunter, this was no small feat.

“Everybody that’s not in choir just thinks you sing the song, then if it sounds pretty you get to go to State, and it’s just not. It’s so much harder than that. All your vowels have to be open and pronounced a certain way as well as every consonant in the word articulated strong enough…. making sure your posture is good, making sure you look natural and your voice is clear, all those things (and more) have to be considered,” Hunter said. 

For each song, three judges are given a form to rate the musicians on the quality of their songs, ranging from numbers one to five, one being the highest rating. After their performance at the festival, the musicians are given their form back to see what the judges think they should work on improving. Choir director Donna Solverud explained the ensembles may have some work to do before State. 

“The preparation was last minute, and so I had to pray that they would be as prepared as they could be. Now we’ll see what they got on their adjudicator forms… and now we can think of what we need to work on a little more,” Mrs. Solverud said. 

Junior Jay Shore, part of the double quartet ensemble that received gold, thinks they could have been much more prepared, and are planning on working together much more before State. 

“We practiced mostly during Seminar, then a couple times after school. And only once with our accompanist. So not very many people were happy with how they did individually, including me. Very much so we need to practice more,” Shore said. 

Now the singers have to consider the judges’ comments and continue to rehearse their songs to perfection. 

“Obviously, I was excited [about receiving an exemplary], but it definitely stresses me out because I have to fix it all. And the ensembles really need some practice,” Hunter said. 

The musicians will be performing their pieces again for the state competition on Saturday, April 27 at the University of Missouri, Columbia.