Nine choir members earn recognition from KMEA

Alana Flinn, reporter

Nine choir members earned recognition at auditions for the Kansas Music Educators Association district choir last week.

Out of more than 800 students throughout the state who auditioned for the KMEA Middle Level All-State Honor Choir (grades 7, 8 and 9), five freshmen singers were accepted as members: Cailtin Alley, Allison Eigsti, Austin Moores, Adam Segura and Eli Stewart.

Four students were also accepted to the KMEA District Honor Choir (grades 10, 11, and 12): seniors Paige Hillebert and Brendan Kendall, junior Chloe Stewart and sophomore Clare Young.

Director of choirs Sheree Stoppel said she is happy that her students were accepted into the competitive group.

“I am very excited and proud. It’s been a tough time for a lot of the students with the musical going on, too,” Stoppel said. “These students went above and beyond the regular day-to-day practice.”

The acceptance to the choir will send the middle level members to a three-day convention in Wichita, which will begin Friday, Feb. 24.

District members will meet on Saturday, Dec. 3 to compete once again. After making it into the district choir, the four singers will have to compete against five other state regions to earn a trip to the convention, and admittance into the All-State Honor Choir.

Hillebert said that having nine singers in the honor choir will improve the school choir as a whole.

“I definitely think that having nine people from our school choirs will strengthen them,” Hillebert said. “It would make more of an impact if we had more students doing it, but more and more are signing up each year, which is exciting.”

Stoppel said that she agrees with Hillebert.

“Last year, we had three students audition and one make it,” Stoppel said. “This year, we had 11 try out, and four make it. I want to fill all 20 possible audition spots and have everyone make it.”

Stoppel said she hopes that the success of the singers will drive others to step outside of their boundaries again next year.

“At the beginning of the year, I challenged everyone to try something they’ve never tried,” Stoppel said. “You only can’t do something, if you think you can’t.”

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