Photo by: Amy Zakarauskas

By: Kyra Powell/Content Editor

Key 
S:Soprano  A:Alto  T:Tenor  B:Bass  1’s sing higher than 2’s

Tensions rise as high school choral students, Kyra Powell (S1), Madison Welsted (S2), Alyssa Williams (S1), Morgan Mansfield (A2), Kaelin Hughes (A1), Spencer Renwick (T2), Mason Conklin (B2), and Tony Dissinger (B2) prepare for the first level of PMEA’s choral competition: Pre-Auditions. On Sunday, October 21st, they will compete against students around the district from schools as far as Hazleton, Dunmore, and Wallenpaupak. They sing in front of a panel of judges that have their backs turned to them. Students are graded based on how well they interpret and perform 90 seconds of the selected piece.

The top 20 scores from each vocal part advance to District Chorus, where they perform anywhere from 7-11 additional pieces. The 160 qualifying students rehearse for 3 days prior to perform a concert on the last day. Selections vary from Mozart, energetic gospels, African Spirituals, and even more selections in obscure languages! Students also have the luxury of staying in a hotel and performing in unique locations. The top 10 singers in each voice category at Districts will advance to Regions. From there, the remaining top 4 will proceed to States. Previous students who have advanced to States include Sequoia Marriott, Maddi Button, and Allen Weed, who even advanced to Nationals in Tennessee.

Students were asked how they feel in anticipation of the choral event.

Alyssa Williams is incredibly excited. She thinks that Pre-Auds are both nerve-racking and just great experience. She thinks she will be less nervous than last year because she’s done it once before. Her biggest fear is repeating what happened last year and not qualifying for Districts.

Morgan Mansfield thinks that the whole Pre-Auds day itself is stressful. She said that if she makes it to Districts and Regions like she did last year, at least there will be the reward of experiencing time with the choir in the following days.

Madison Welsted agrees, saying, “Pre-Auds are nerve-racking and stressful, but it is fun interacting with people and it’s a learning process!”

Welsted looks forward to hanging out after the stressful part is over and eating the food at the festival. She thinks the scariest part of the process is the feeling of being judged during the audition.

With hard work, dedication, and daily practice, these students have the chance of achieving greatness.