Stephen F. Austin Middle School’s sixth-grade choir will be singing at the 2017 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio at 1:35 p.m. Feb. 9 as one of eight elementary honor choirs in the state.
The choir has been preparing for the convention since September when they were selected to perform by an anonymous selection committee that reviewed a video of several SFA Choir performances. During the 30-minute performance, the students will sing six songs in front of a room that seats almost 1,300 people.
SFA Choir Director Brian Shane said the performance is “one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.” He said the hard work preparing for the convention will prepare the students for success in upcoming concerts.
The choir evolves from significantly from the first day of the school year according to Shane.
“The students come into the sixth grade with varying levels of musical knowledge,” Shane said. “Some are advanced, and some have only ever sung with the radio. I work to take sound that is unpolished and turn it into a formal choir that performs musically with good technique.”
In preparation for the convention, the choir will be singing in a series of warm up concerts. They will perform 6 p.m. Friday at the Palace Theater in Downtown Bryan and 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at First Presbyterian Church in Bryan.
After the convention, the choir will continue preparing for future contests, but the fun never stops for Shane, who said the best part of working at SFA is his students.
“It’s amazing to watch these students come into the sixth grade as kids and leave the eighth grade as young adults,” Shane said. “When they come to the choir room, they know it’s time for music. And they pour their entire beings into what we are doing that day.”
Rudder High student Layne Scroggs and Bryan High students Grayson McGee and Andres Reyna will also represent Bryan ISD at the convention as members of the all-state choir team.