Choir, orchestra and band shine at all-state competition



Ben Evans, Jayden Taylor, Claire Hartung, Weiwei Zhang, Joline Sun, Mia Van De Mark and Evelyn Mach pose at the competition.

Eshaan Mani, Executive Digital Editor

The voices of dozens of Texas high school students echoed around the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts on Jan. 29 as they sang “Alleluia.”

This was the scene at the Texas Private School Music Educators Association All-State Choir Competition, a gathering of the best music students from across the state. A select group of students from Upper School choir director Mr. Chip Covin’s class had spent 20 hours preparing for the concert, and students were excited.

“It was completely awesome,” said sophomore Ben Evans, a member of the choir. “Not only was the sound completely incredible, but I also got to hang out with a lot of cool, nice and interesting people.”Evans was joined by senior Mia Van De Mark and sophomores Claire Hartung and Evelyn Mach. 

The choir wasn’t there alone. Members of Kinkaid’s orchestra — senior Vivian Ye, juniors Jayden Taylor and Soha Sewani, sophomores Grant Smith and Jesus Lara, and freshmen Charlie Yang and Miranda Li — joined them at all-state, competing among other school orchestras. Band members — senior James Rush, juniors Weiwei Zhang and Reese Wu, and sophomore Joline Sun — also competed.

To qualify for all-state, members of the choir and orchestra had to audition. The players with the top scores from each section were selected into the program. For the performance, students had around three days to rehearse — Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning.

“We arrived Thursday afternoon and performed Saturday afternoon, so we did not get much time to rehearse,” Ye explained. “All students received copies of music prior to the weekend so they may practice by themselves, but actual rehearsal time was very limited.”

Choir and orchestra students agreed that the most educational part of the experience was learning from the conductors. 

Evans said he learned a lot of choral techniques and perspectives from the various clinicians who conducted Kinkaid’s choir on the first day. 

Ye said the most memorable part was the orchestra conductor’s kindness. 

“He was really funny and nice to work with,” she said. 

When the choir members were not practicing or performing, they were visiting various levels of their hotel and singing “Alleluia.”

“The way we could fill up the entire massive building with sound was incredible,” Evans said. “People stopped to see what was going on. It sounded amazing and it was really fun.”

Miranda Li, Soha Sewani, Vivian Ye, Charlie Yang, Jesus Lara, Grant Smith and Jayden Taylor pose. (KinkaidArts)