Did Someone Say Gold?

Choir students have their biggest year yet for solo and small ensemble
Junior Marissa Varga, seniors Connor Higlen and Grace Edney, and freshman Ellie Force taking a group photo before riding the bus back to Liberty. (Submitted by Connor Higlen)
Junior Marissa Varga, seniors Connor Higlen and Grace Edney, and freshman Ellie Force taking a group photo before riding the bus back to Liberty. (Submitted by Connor Higlen)

Our school choir has had an amazing year. A month ago, students who participated in solo and small ensembles went to Fort Zumwalt East for their district performance. This year, they received 13 gold awards, which is a significant increase from previous years. The students who won gold at the district level were then sent to the state to perform in front of judges who used a harsher grading system.

“District judges fill out a detailed number-based grid to score different categories as well as provide written feedback. State judges evaluate the performance more broadly and only give written feedback,”choir director Carter Datz said.

State was held at the University of Missouri-Columbia campus on Friday, April 26 and has always been an memorable time for choir members perform their contest songs for what may be the last time for the seniors. Just like districts, there was a lot of emotion when scores were put in. Lots of screaming, hugs, tears of joy, and much more.

For many, this will be their last time going to state, like senior Abbie Luker.

“I’m really proud of all of us and I’m happy that I got to attend state for my first and last time,” Luker said. This is Luker’s second year in choir after she quickly climbed the ranks from starting in concert choir her junior year and being accepted in chamber the following year, a challenge that didn’t go unnoticed. “It was helpful to get specific feedback from the judges and I’ve been using that to almost check myself when singing outside of an ensemble.”

The same can be said about Grace Edney who is well known around Liberty with her admirable voice. Edney believes that state gives the singers an incentive to work best to achieve that medal for their solo or ensemble.

“I feel like my hard work has paid off and I’m so grateful for such an amazing experience in high school,” Edney said when asked what it means to earn a gold rating at districts and state. Some of the choir members may continue to participate in the future as they move on past high school, while others may leave it behind as they graduate this June. Whether they choose to continue singing or not, the friendships and memories made during their time spent in choir will stay with them forever.

State solo and small ensemble rankings
Ensemble Rankings

Higlan SATB Quartet (Marissa Varga, Grace Edney, Ellie Force, and Connor Higlen) - Exemplary

LeMaster SSA Trio (Abbie Luker, Emina Topcagic, and Kennedy LeMaster) - Exemplary

Edney SATB Double Quartet (Emina Topcagic, Abbie Luker, Grace Edney, Olivia Crone, Kennedy LeMaster, Brandt Cleppe, Anthony Rey, and Connor Higlen) - Exemplary

Lawrence SSA Trio (Kailey Lawrence, Mak Barnes, and Marley Higlen) - Exemplary

Crone SSAA Quartet (Marissa Varga, Maddi Woollard, Olivia Crone, and Nicki Bruns) - Outstanding

Rey TBB Sextet (A. Theodore, Brandt Cleppe, Anthony Bruns, Sebastian Tabers, Patrick Stankovich, and Anthony Rey) - Outstanding

Soloist Rankings

Grace Edney - Exemplary

Kailey Lawrence - Exemplary

Connor Higlen - Exemplary

Emina Topcagic - Exemplary

Olivia Crone - Outstanding

Mak Barnes - Outstanding

Brandt Cleppe - Outstanding

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About the Contributor
Anthony Rey
Anthony Rey, Reporter
Anthony Rey is a senior and this is his first year in publications. He transferred to LHS his sophomore year and has loved it ever since. He started getting involved in choir and sports once he knew he could. Now he is in the chamber choir and is a part of the track team; he loves to be involved and getting out there. His passion is technology and all things computer related.

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