DHS, DMS choirs perform well at state

Published 10:38 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The choirs at Demopolis High School and Demopolis Middle School each competed at the state level and came away with high rankings.

The choirs went to the state ensemble assessment in Birmingham on March 26, competing with other schools at the highest state level of chorale competition.

“We really wanted to participate in the large group assessment, but we didn’t have enough people in the choir, so we had to go to the ensemble assessment,” said chorale music teacher Frank Calloway. “We sang two songs from memory. The middle school did two-part unison, and the high school did three-part mixed. One song was a Latin unaccompanied piece, and we did real well.

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“The middle school missed a superior rating by one point, and the high school missed a superior rating by two points, so they did extremely well. They should be real proud of themselves for that.”

Calloway said the choirs did well despite being in the unfamiliar territory of performing in an ensemble assessment.

“This was a new experience for all of us because, in the past, they’ve been able to go to the large group assessment,” he said. “Everybody was familiar with that, and they felt comfortable with it. On this one, it was a new experience to have to go to the ensemble.

“With the large group assessment, you’ve got other choirs out there that you sing in front of. With the ensemble, there is just the judge. One of the things was that in the ensemble, they can’t receive any direction. I can’t direct them; they had to do it on their own.”

Calloway said he was impressed with the choirs’ success, especially in an unfamiliar setting among tougher competition.

“You’ve got choirs, the larger group, and then, you take the cream of the crop out of the larger groups and make them into ensembles,” he said. “So, the expectations are higher when this group performs, because they are the best of their school.

“We have some new kids who have said they will be in the choir next year. Hopefully, we’ll have a lot of these who will return.”

The DHS choir will next perform on Thursday, May 6,