Five musicians advance to all-state choir


All-state choir members– (Top) senior Moises Ybaben Burciaga, freshman Angie Klassen Enns, freshman Aubrey Brown, (bottom) junior Liz Pinon and senior Jacqueline Peters

 The choir department has a new record as five members were chosen for the Texas Music Educator Association Small School All-State Choir in January after placing seventh chair or above in the West Texas region. 

  Due to the pandemic, all try outs were virtual. 

  “This year there was definitely more stress on the kids and on us,” choir Director Eric Hindman said. “None of us were used to any of this in our program, so we tried our best to adapt to the situation.” 

  The biggest change was the elimination of the sight reading portion of the try out since it required a live performance. 

  “Sight reading benefited some students,” Hindman said, “but it hurt some of the fantastic sight readers we have by not letting them advance because they needed those extra points.” 

  Senior tenor Moises Ybaben Burciaga took first chair in the West Texas region in his second year making the all-state choir. The state convention which was a live trip to San Antonio last year is a virtual one this year.

  “I am really sad that I won’t be able to see all the people who  made it from other schools due to the pandemic,” Ybaben Burciaga said. “It is such a nice experience. It is magical to sing with all the other talented students.” 

  Ybaben Burciaga was not the only senior to make the all-state choir. Senior Jaqueline Peters took seventh chair in the alto section of the West Texas region. 

  “I am very proud of myself,” Peters said. “It feels amazing to be able to make it my senior year, even though I am very disappointed to not be able to go and sing. It is my first time making it, and it would’ve been a cool experience.”

  Junior Liz Pinon went from being in the third choir at the beginning of her sophomore year to being sixth chair alto in the West Texas region and a member of the all-state choir.

  “I feel very accomplished,” Pinon said. “I went from being in the lowest group to making it to all state. It is truly a blessing to be in this position.” 

  Two freshmen, Angie Klassen Enns and Aubrey Brown, took second and fifth chairs in the alto and soprano sections of the West Texas region to earn spots in the all-state group.

  “It doesn’t seem real that I made it this far as a freshman,” Brown said. “I always had high hopes for myself, but I never expected myself to succeed this early in high school.” 

  Klassen Enns said she felt honored to be in that position as a freshman.  

  While the five vocalists will always have all-state choir on their resumes, they won’t get to perform with all the other top voices in the state due to pandemic precautions. 

  “It is disappointing to not see our students have that opportunity,” Hindman said. “TMEA is the highlight of the year in the music world, and they miss out on the opportunity to 

Results of choir all-state tryouts at a glance

All-state members include senior Moises Ybaben Burciaga who was first chair tenor. In the soprano section, freshman Angie Klassen Enns took second chair. In the alto section, freshman Aubrey Brown was fifth chair, junior Liz Pinon took sixth chair, and senior Jacqueline Peters was seventh chair.

Chairs in the bass section included junior Cason Johnson in 10th chair, junior Noe Ybaben Burciaga in 13th chair, junior Jordan Neufeld in 16th chair, senior Kaillon Sawatzky in 19th chair and sophomore Aaron Castaneda in 20th chair.

Additional chairs in the tenor section included freshman Jonathan Hold in 13th chair, sophomore Nathan Banman in 14th chair, junior Dylan Banman in 15th chair, junior Eli Call in 16th chair, and junior Isaiah Roybal in 22nd chair.

Additional chairs in the alto section included senior Robin Franklin in 18th chair and junior Dalilah Trevino in 21st chair.

Additional chairs in the soprano section included senior Lisa Klassen in 13th chair, senior Carrie Quiring in 14th chair and senior Leah Smith in 19th chair.