Each year our Middle School and Upper School choir students, along with preparing two concerts for the Fall semester, audition for the Texas Private Schools Music Educators Honors and All-State choirs. These auditions require students to prepare preselected music and audition individually for a panel of judges. The competition is strong, as almost every independent school in Texas participates, and the choirs are limited in number of singers. It is a tremendous honor to be selected.
Our Oakridge students always make a strong showing in these honor choirs but this year was particularly notable. Between Middle School and Upper School, twenty-seven students were selected. Out of 100 students selected statewide for the Middle School Honor Choir, ten were from Oakridge. These singers participated in a two-day clinic and concert in November with renowned composer and conductor Laura Farnell (an Arlington native). Eighth graders Garrett Kundysek, Mack Nason, Zoë Fowler, and Caziah Franklin with seventh graders Nick Campbell, Thomas Greve, Josh Martinez, Emilio Martinez, Jeremy Mehlmann, and Elise Seldenstein sang beautifully and represented Oakridge well at the event.
Upper School TPSMEA Region Choir and All-State Choir are held in January. Seventeen students will travel to Addison to take place in the TPSMEA Region Honor Choir and Treble Choir the second weekend of January. These 200-member choirs always impress and it is a significant accomplishment to have so many Oakridge students selected. Singing in the Region Treble Choir are Julianne Carroll, Claire DeVoe, Olivia Duke, Abby Hurd, Hannah Song, and Amy Zhang. Oakridge students in the Region Mixed Choir are Allison Adams, Lauren Davidson, Walker Emmert, Brenton Handy, Bruce Holtman, Cade Kellam, Tobias Kroll, Ben Mohorc, Rachel Tan, Ryan Tan, and Elizabeth Thompson.
Additionally, four students were selected to the TPSMEA All-State Choir. The 160 voice All-State Choir is determined from almost a thousand auditions statewide. These students will travel to San Marcos at the end of January for a three day clinic and concert with world renowned conductor Dr. Jerry McCoy. This is the highest level of achievement for Upper School independent school singers in the state of Texas and we are very proud of these four singers. They are Cade Kellam (freshman), Ryan Tan (sophomore), Elizabeth Thompson (junior), and Tobias Kroll (senior). For Tobias, this is his fourth consecutive year to be selected, leaving him in rare company.