PHS Choir sends five to TMEA SSC All-State Choir

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The Pampa High School Choir sent five students to the Texas Music Educator’s Association (TMEA) Small School Choir (SSC). 

The following two seniors, junior and a sophomore were named to the All-State Choir: Mariah Godwin, Lacey Bilyeu (three-year all-stater), Alexis Hancock, Aidan Chapleau and Kate Smith were the five students named to the choir, a first for Pampa High School since 1989. The record for PHS is six. 

PHS Choir Director Brianna Montgomery said the process to make the All-State Choir is a tedious one.

“They do a District round and take 32 people and then we go to Region that drops down to 20 and then we go to pre-Area that drops down to eight and then they take seven to Area (state-level),” Montgomery said. “It covers an area of about Midland and north.”

COVID-19 has presented it’s own new challenges for the students.

“Usually we go one day for each round to a school and sight-read,” Montgomery said. “But this year there was no sight-reading and we had to submit voice recordings to go.”

Total, Pampa High School had 16 total students named to the TMEA Region Choir. 

“The all-state process is challenging and requires a lot of dedication and discipline, as well as talent to be successful,” Montgomery said. “We are proud of these students for staying motivated and persevering through this challenging year with COVID restrictions.”

Now the PHS Choir turns their attention to their production of “Grease” that will be performed at the PHS auditorium. The production was originally supposed to be Mary Poppins, but COVID-19 restrictions on MK Brown Civic Center and Auditorium caused delays.

“We were going to do ‘Mary Poppins’ and auditioned in October,” Montgomery said. “We were going to do it in January, but MK Brown closed so we postponed it to February. MK Brown is still closed. We decided not to do ‘Mary Poppins.’ 

“We applied for virtual live-stream license, when we had canceled it (in-person) the kids didn’t want to record it because it takes away from the live performance. So the seniors decided that they wanted to replace it with something and we went with ‘Grease.’ We started it last week and are going to try to do it in six weeks.”

More information will come about “Grease” and on the students performing and their performance schedule.

“Opening here at the high school on the 25th of February,” Montgomery said. “We will only be able to do 50 percent capacity with seating. We are working on the process for tickets. 

“We are going to perform it over seven shows. We’re going to do Thursday night, Saturday (Three shows), Sunday (two shows) and one Monday.”

The students that made it to Area were: Aidan Chapleau, Jay Clark Allen, Korbin Cole, Mariah Goodwin, Lacey Bilyeu, Alexis Hancock, Kate Smith and Kyle Gordzelik.

For more information on “Grease” and Pampa High School, call 806-669-4800.

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