Ridin’ Solo

McNeil Hosts Choir’s TMEA Auditions

Students from RRISD (and other local private schools) competed to perform in one of four qualifying choirs at the annual TMEA Clinic/Convention.

“I’m used to [the audition process] definitely, but the nerves were still there,” junior Libby Rayos said. “There’s always nerves when you have to sing competitively.”

The audition process can take anywhere from two to four hours. More than half of it consists of contestants waiting to get taken to the audition rooms where they will then have to perform small snippets of their music that they’ve been memorizing for months. They don’t know which part of their songs they will sing until an hour before the audition.

“[While waiting to audition] I was just trying to think about staying calm, and trying not to think too much of it, because it’s a blind audition,” sophomore Kaleeyse Martinez said. “So it’s not as stressful as you think it’s going to be.”

Choir members who were not auditioning volunteered to help the competition run smoothly. Most stayed until 10 p.m. to reset all the classrooms used.

“[The All-State process] is a lot more intense,” head choir director Wendi Burwinkel said. “In middle school you have one round; kids audition that day, and then they’re done. Either they make it or they don’t. At the high school level there’s more pieces, it’s college level literature, and there’s four rounds. Some kids never make it past the first round, and other kids go all the way to the end or just miss making it to the state choir by one spot.”