Thursday, January 12, 2017

Memorial Choir Tops District All-State News

Ten choir, band and orchestra students from Spring Branch ISD have earned the highest honor possible in their chosen areas of musical study as newly named Texas All-State winners.

This year, half of the district’s All-State recognized students are also members of the acclaimed Memorial High School Choir. The choir students reflect the strongest showing by a high school choir in many years.

“It is hard to explain how proud I was to see the tremendous payoff for so many Memorial High choir students,” Choir Director Lawrence Johnson said.

Almost 13,000 choir students from across Texas last fall began auditions with a panel of judges. The top singers narrowed to 504 students earlier this month, reflecting the top 3 percent of all vocalists in the state.  

“It takes tremendous dedication and talent to learn nine different songs and then to go through essentially four different, head-to-head competitions during the fall semester,” Memorial’s Johnson said.

“Sometimes the hardest part of the job of a choir director is being a part of the audition process for any contest or performance. As one of your students' biggest supporters, it's really hard to sit and watch or listen helplessly as your students put countless hours of work and preparation on the line during a 5-minute audition against some of the best singers in Texas,” he added.

Students in choir, band and orchestra from Memorial and Stratford high schools now join about 1,500 students from across Texas named All-State Winners. They will now perform in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State music groups during the association’s convention, scheduled Feb. 8-11 in San Antonio.

Stratford High Orchestra and Band All Stgte Winners Left to right:
Zachary Barnett, Sydney Simmons, Isabella Bengochea and Catherine Wu

Four Stratford High Orchestra and Band students qualified for All-State.
  • Isabella Bengochea, Orchestra, Violin, 12th Grade
  • Catherine Wu, Orchestra, Violin, 9th Grade
  • Zachary Barnett, Band, Trumpet, 12th Grade
  • Sydney Simmons, Band, Trumpet, 11th Grade
Stratford High Orchestra directors are Michael Fahey and Peter Jagdeo. 
Stratford Band directors are Richard Graham and Robert Littlefield.
Memorial High Band student All-State Winner Jimmy Herrington

Six Memorial High Choir and Band students qualified for All-State.

  • Cameron Trout, Choir, Bass 2, 12th Grade
  • Joshua Gao, Choir, Bass 2, 12th Grade
  • Mariam Haider, Choir, Soprano 1, 11th Grade
  • Lola Budimir, Choir, Alto 1, 11th Grade
  • Allison Gentry, Choir, Alto 2, 11th Grade
  • Jimmy Herrington, Band, French Horn, 12th Grade
Memorial High Choir directors are Lawrence Johnson and Sarah Stagg. 
Memorial Band directors are Suzanne Thompson and David Kastor.

All-State qualifying students and their families will be honored during a regular monthly meeting of the SBISD Board of Trustees soon. Congratulations to all our student winners!


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