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35 Marble Falls choir students get top marks at contest; 13 advance to state

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

LEANDER — The Marble Falls High School choir landed 35 “ones” during the Region 26 West Zone solo and ensemble contest Feb. 22 at Leander Rouse High School.

“That was incredible because we took 37 students, and to have 35 earn ones, well, it’s probably the best we’ve ever had at Marble Falls (High School),” said Bryce Gage, the school’s choir director. “On top of that, we had 13 students earn spots at the state contest in May.”

In Texas University Interscholastic League music competitions, a “one” is the highest mark a performer can earn.

The Texas State Solo-Ensemble Contest is May 25-27 at The University of Texas at Austin.

“We’re taking 22 entries to state, but many students are in more than one competition,” Gage said.

Along with 11 soloist performers, the choir is entering three ensembles. The ensembles comprise many of the students who earned state berths as soloists.

The students advancing to the state competition are: Anna Close, Colton Davis, Meghan Gonzales, Mario Hernandez, Carolyn O’Connor, Jesus Perez, MaeAnn Ross, Shyann Schultz, Hannah Spillman, Julie Water, Faith Westerman, Austin Jones and Megan Short.

“This has been a great team effort,” Gage said. “This all starts with the tremendous work of the (Marble Falls) Middle School choir teachers Megan Goodman and Esther Jones, as well as the middle school voice coaches Gay Gambert. And, here at the high school, we have (Jennie Lynn) Hodges and our voice coaches Susan Ohlrich and Sara Spillman.”

He added that the campus administration such as Principal Manny Lunoff and the central administration have been strong supporters of the district’s choir program.

“They have been amazing to work with,” he said. “The kids have been incredible. There isn’t anything they can’t do. The choir program is just getting better and better.”

daniel@thepicayune.com