Brownwood High School choir students reflect on UIL contest

Special to the Bulletin
Brownwood High School choir students recently competed at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest.

Brownwood High School choir students competed at their UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest on Tuesday, March 30.

"This was the first time for many of these students to attend this UIL event," stated BHS Choir Director Jennifer Reeves.

High ratings were earned by the BHS choirs at the event, though there was also room for improvement. The A Cappella Mixed Choir received a "1" in Sight Reading and a "2" in Concert. The Men's Choir earned a "2" in both Sight Reading and Concert, while the Varsity Women's Choir received a "2" in concert and a "3" in Sight Reading.

Caleb Towns, a freshman at BHS, expressed pride in the freshmen boys at the contest. "Overall, I think we did really well for mostly freshmen guys, and this being our first year to go," said Towns.

For freshman Jamariea Harlmon, this year's contest has an optimistic lesson to the placing the choir had. "It was great getting a '2', and when we came back, we talked about how we can improve. I think we will do much better next year," said Harlmon.

With the many changes to extracurricular activities on Brownwood ISD campuses, the BHS choir program is no exception. However, perseverance to perform and make an impact this school year has allowed the choir students to overcome these changes both on campus and in their own lives.

Destynee Gomez, a junior choir student, said that being a part of the choir program has allowed her to become more disciplined. "It has helped me grow as a person, mentally and physically. I have less attitude, and it has taught me more about discipline and being more confident," said Gomez.

Though choir is seen as a fine art elective, being a part of the program is more than just singing. To Preston Buffington, a sophomore at BHS, being able to play the grand piano as well as being able to see different sights while at the contest was a major highlight for him. "It was fun we got to see things that we usually don't get to see," noted Buffington.

Freshman choir student Olivia Gonzales agrees that going on choir trips with friends is a great part of being involved. "I have gotten closer to the people in choir, and that has made trips to contest fun," said Gonzales. "Just being with friends and singing with them is really fun."

Many fall concerts were canceled due to COVID-19 precautions. Instead of performing in person, the BHS Choir came up with a different way of displaying their hard work and talents. "During October, we made our own 'music video' of Michael Jackson's song Thriller for our school announcements," stated Reeves. In addition, the choir recorded some Christmas songs to be played over Facebook for friends and families of the choir students to see what they had been working on.

Virtual transitions have become a very popular alternative for many events over the last year. According to Reeves, the All-State Choir Auditions were held virtually, which posed some limitations and challenges.

"We had to make sure all our students not only knew the music, but we spent many class days separating students and ensuring their audition was recorded properly," said Reeves.

Although there have been many challenges over the course of this year, the BHS choir program has proven that its students and faculty are resilient.