Orchestra and choir students earn “Best in Festival” award

IHS Choir and Orchestra ensembles received “Best in Festival” awards at a music festival in San Antonio, Texas on April 8, 2022.

IHS Choir and Orchestra ensembles received “Best in Festival” awards at a music festival in San Antonio, Texas on April 8, 2022.

Soumya Dharani

It’s a rewarding feeling for most teachers to see their students’ considerable time and effort lead them to success. However, helping every student progress can prove to be challenging, especially when each student is at a different level in their knowledge.

Choir and orchestra directors at Independence High School (IHS) guided their students to earn “Best in Festival” awards for all six performing ensembles at a music festival in San Antonio, Texas, on April 8, 2022.

Varsity Treble Choir, Symphonic Orchestra, and four other performing ensembles participated in the festival.

IHS Choir and Orchestra directors display the awards earned by their students at the San Antonio music festival on April 8, 2022.

Orchestra Director Lindsey Titus shared how she helped the students prepare for the festival.

“I spent roughly one month working with my students ensuring they were well prepared for the festival,” Titus said. “The ensembles were smaller than usual, especially since some students weren’t present, but the gaps were filled by my students who practiced hard and played well.”

Despite being occupied with other events and performances, the directors put in a significant amount of time to make sure their students were ready to perform.

“I have been assisting the choir students in preparation for our contest season since the start of the spring semester,” choir Director Stephanie Keen said. “We competed at the UIL Concert and UIL Sight Reading events at the end of March, and then the following week down in San Antonio at the festival. The past couple of months have been busy for both us directors and the students, but we were able to present well for each performance.”

In addition to receiving the “Best in Festival” awards, the Varsity Treble Choir received the highest score out of all the participating choirs.

“Both our Varsity Mixed and Varsity Treble choirs received superior ratings from all three judges at the festival and displayed an outstanding performance,” Keen said. “Every student who participated grew as an individual musician and created some beautiful music.”

Titus described how the students’ achievements created a sense of satisfaction and content within the coaching directors.

“I am very proud of all of our groups and the effort they put into not only this festival, but all of our performances in the last few months,” Titus said. “There’s always room for improvement, and we’re always pushing ourselves to become better performers. That being said, the students prepared very well and it’s fulfilling to see them develop into greater musicians.”

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