Musical Madness

During Pre-MPA, Mixed Choir practices performing in front of an audience.

When a sports team, like basketball or baseball, does well throughout the season and qualifies for state, everyone knows about it. However, sports teams that have the opportunity to compete at a state level competition.

Last year, Pace High Choir made high school history by bringing their most advanced choir to state. This year, the choir qualified to bring not only one, but two choirs to state. Pace High Choir brought four choirs: Mixed Choir, Select Treble Choir, Men’s Choir, and Treble Choir. The Mixed Choir, which is new this year, and the Select Treble Choir both got overall superiors which qualified them for state. The choir president, Maddie Inman, performed in both choirs that qualified.

“MPA is a big event where all the choirs, middle school and high school, go to perform for a panel of judges that evaluate and critique our performances. We work to get the feel of our pieces in class, but I also worked a lot at home to memorize and be more confident with the pieces,” Inman said.

MPA stands for Music Performance Assessment. Choirs from across the district bring their choirs in hopes of impressing the judges and improving their music skills. District MPA takes two full days of back-to-back choirs. This year, after a choir was finished performing, they were able to work with a clinician to improve their pieces. After performing their prepared pieces, each choir goes to another room to sight read music they have never seen before in front of a judge. Singing in a group has both easy and challenging parts.

“I feel like the most difficult part for preparing was memorizing the claps in Yo Le Canto. The claps are very similar and repetitive, but they change ever so slightly every time. The easiest part was memorizing the pitches and putting the words to it. And it really gets stuck in your brain after you work on it a lot in class, in rehearsal, and at home,” Inman said.

Singing at District MPA is a lot different from other competitions because music can make people emotional. One of the Select Treble Choir members Mikayla Allen experienced emotions while on stage.

“The song that moved me the most was Hold Fast to Dreams because it teaches you to have more than one dream falls short of succeeding,” Allen said.

Inman was also emotional while singing a song during the Mixed Choir performance.

“The piece that moved me the most was Requiem by Eliza Gilkyson because it is a really emotional song. How it’s composed, you really have to rely on the choir to give it the emotional effect. So, keeping that in mind, the singers have to be able to connect the song to their life, and when I sang that song at my last MPA I got really moved and even had some tears,” Inman said.

While performing can be nerve-wracking, waiting on your scores after performing can also make a performer anxious. However, the nervousness was all worth it for the Select Treble Choir.

“When we found out we made straight superiors and we were going to state, we were ecstatic; everyone started crying and Mr. Waters was very happy. I was very happy all of our hard work paid off,” Allen said.

As her last year in the choir program, Inman was full of emotions at MPA.

“The moment I found out about the Select Treble results was right after we finished sight-reading, and I was already crying because I realized that was the last thing I got to do at my last MPA. And Juniper called me over and told me we got straight superiors, and I started crying more. It just felt like all the hard work and stress paid off, and I felt really proud of my choirs. I’m very excited that we get to go back to state this year for the second time in a row, but not with just one choir. I’m very proud of Concert Choir and Select Treble Choir for working hard and qualifying for State, and I hope we make Mr. Waters proud at State MPA,” Inman said.