KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 17, 2020
By Jennifer Miko
16 talented choir students from Katy ISD high schools advanced to the prestigious All-State Choir this year - the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Over the weekend, they performed at the 100th Texas Music Educators Association Convention, in San Antonio.
Pictured (left to right): Katy High School All-State Choir students, Kenneth Nguyen, Abigail Bahng, Emily Adams, and Taylor Nguyen
Of the 14,000 high school students who initiate the All-State Choir process, only the top 3% of Texas choral students actually make the All-State Choir. After six months and four rounds of auditions, the hard work and dedication paid off for 16 Katy ISD students.
“The All-State process is one of the most rigorous individual competitions a choir student can attempt,” says Brian Miller, Director of Choir at Katy High School. “It pushes them to be personally responsible for collegiate level music and musicianship.”
Katy High School
All in the Family
Sophomore Emily Adams returned for her second year in the All-State Choir. This time, the alto 1, earned the coveted position of first chair in the All-State Mixed Choir.
Siblings Kenneth Nguyen, senior, and Taylor Nguyen, a sophomore, also represented Katy HS this year. Kenneth, a tenor 2, performed with the All-State Men’s Choir and Taylor, a soprano 2, sang with the All-State Treble Choir.
“They both placed 8th chair,” says Miller of the talented pair. “I’m secretly happy for this because it minimizes the playful sibling bickering of ‘who is better.’”
Abigail Bahng, a sophomore, also placed 8th chair, and performed with the All-State Treble Choir. She said they all started learning the music during the summer break.
“KHS has a tradition of the choir students attending the All-State music camp at Stephen F. Austin State University in June," Bahng says. "Last summer there were over forty of us!”
Miller adds, “As much as we work with them and prepare them, it all comes down to a three-minute snapshot showcasing months of work. They must learn to accept grace in defeat and humility in triumph!"
Seven Lakes High School
Erica Yanek has been selected to the All-State Choir for an impressive third time. The Seven Lakes HS soprano was 5th chair this year in the All-State Mixed Choir.
Yanek, a senior, says she started preparing for this year’s All-State process last June when the music was released.
“The amount of dedication I put into this has taught me that nothing worth wanting is without sacrifice and striving towards obtaining it,” says Yanek.
Director of Choir at Seven Lakes HS, Randall Klint Jordan, says the students work with the guidance of their choir directors and private voice teachers to develop their own vocal technique, critical listening skills and overall musicianship.