Bryant Choir Hosts Cabaret to Fundraise for National Honor Choir

14 Bryant students make National Honor Choir, beating a school record

January 27, 2020

Bryant Choir continues to step into  the spotlight, as 14 students qualified for National Honor Choir, sponsored by the National Organization for American Choral Directors. Students who made All-State were allowed to audition if their choir director was a member of the organization. 

Auditions for National Honor Choir switch between Regional and National. The 2019 auditions were national, and students from all 50 states competed for a spot.  The 2020 auditions were regional, involving six states. Students who made the choir will participate in a clinic where they will work and perform with other students who were selected as well as many professionals. 

Choir director Tanner Oglesby encouraged his students to audition and was very pleased with the results.

 “We had 14 students make it, which is a huge deal, because it beat our record of 12,” Oglesby said. “This year, the event is taking place in Little Rock. [The students] will spend about three days working with people from all over the country, singing with them, and will end the clinic by putting on a concert.”

Students auditioning were required to send in four different video recordings in which they demonstrated their upper range and lower range and performed “My Country Tis’ of Thee” as well as a solo song of their choice. 

Since auditions were not required, students planning to audition had to mostly prepare on their own.

“Other than recording and helping them pick out a song, I told [my students] that [if they wanted to audition], it would be a lot of on-their-own stuff,” Oglesby said. “I did a lot of the front end and back end of their audition, but they did the music learning.”

The results from the audition will not only benefit the students who made it, but it will benefit the Bryant Choir as a whole. According to Oglesby, in past years, Bryant choir has not been considered  “the school to beat” at competitions, but since the program began traveling and competing more, Bryant was able to win many state titles in the 2019 competition season. 

“Any time we do well, any time we have a lot of kids making an honor choir, it reflects great on our program and puts us in the spotlight of the 7A class vocation in the state as a school that is one to beat,” Oglesby said. 

Many of the kids who are participating in National Honor Choir plan on pursuing musical careers. The opportunity will help students stand out to college choir directors and potentially help them receive scholarship money. 

Along with the possible scholarship opportunities, many students like junior Lexie Ellis are also excited to experience the prestigious event and absorb all the knowledge and benefits it will  offer.

“We will all know our music by the time we get there,” Ellis said. “We will learn how to polish a piece of music in a professional environment, and we will get to meet many talented people that will be able to teach us some things.”

Results from the audition came as a pleasant surprise for many of the students who auditioned. For some students like senior Daniella Lopez, it was their second time auditioning after not making it the previous year. 

“[Making the choir] was a big surprise,” Lopez said. “I was on my way to work when I got a phone call telling me I made National Honor Choir. I was devastated last year when I didn’t make the choir, so I was really happy this year when I found out I did.” 

To fundraise for the National Honor Choir clinic, Bryant Choir will host a cabaret Thurs. Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Blackbox theater of the BHS fine arts building.

Junior Ethan Davis will be participating in the cabaret to hopefully raise enough money to cover his hotel expenses. 

“Although the clinic is being held in Little Rock this year, we will be staying in hotels because of the busy schedule,” Davis said. 

Tickets are $10 each, and the choir is hoping to sell 200. There will be complimentary cookies and coffee after the cabaret. For more information, contact choir director Tanner Oglesby at [email protected]

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