RHS students earn CHSAA All-State Choir honors
Director of Districtwide Services
Rifle High School junior Chase Church and senior Hattie Rensberry are having a truly musical year. Between the “Addam’s Family” musical in the fall, All-State Choir auditions and Western Slope Choir auditions and their busy high school schedule that includes choir and/or band, or both, the pair have had many different musical pieces floating through their heads.
They let that musical talent shine this fall at the All-State Choir auditions, earning Colorado High School Athletic and Activities (CHSAA) All-State Choir honors. All-State auditions are open to high school juniors and seniors. Rifle High School choir director Daryl Gingrich said even having one student earn All-State honors is a significant accomplishment.
“It is a difficult process,” he explained. “There are schools that send several students to auditions, and don’t have anyone earn All-State honors. Just to have one student is a great accomplishment – to have two is awesome.”
Rensberry and Church’s accomplishments continue a long streak of RHS Bears singing at the All-State concert, an event that blends the voices of students around the state. This year’s event will be Feb. 4 through Saturday Feb. 6 at the BellCo Theatre (formally called the Wells Fargo Theatre), located in the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
As part of their All-State audition, students can achieve a total score of 100 points. Students must perform a musical solo, typically a classical or folk song. Jazz, pop and musical theater songs are not permitted. Judges are looking for tone quality, singing in tune, accuracy of the notes and rhythms, diction and musicality — the vocal dynamics, sensitivity to text and articulation to convey the appropriate meaning. The solo is worth a total of 50 points.
Students also can receive 50 points for their technical skills, including tonality in their scales, intervals and melodic and rhythmic sight-reading.
“It’s an awful lot of fun,” Rensberry said about the audition process. “If you mess up on the technical components, you are pretty much finished. Last year I was two points away and it was the technical components that tripped me up.”
For Church, this was his first All-State audition.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said the RHS junior. “I’m very excited to represent Rifle High School at the All-State concert.”
Both would like to have music in their career plans. Rensberry would like to pursue musical theater and graphic design, while Church would like to pursue a career in music production.
Jonathan Palant will be conducting the All-State men’s choir, Jo-Michael Scheibe will be conducting the All-State mixed choir and Carolyn Cruse will conduct the All-State women’s choir.
In addition to the All-State honors, Garfield Re-2 is sending a total of 25 students to the Western Slope Honor Choir – 21 from Rifle High School and four from Coal Ridge. The contingent from Coal Ridge includes Cassie Greene, Gracie West, Paola Ortiz and Diego Ochoa. Those earning Western Slope honors from Rifle High School include Lucy Bruner, Michaela Gecevich, Mindy Gross, Daniela Lerma, Payton Phillips, Hattie Rensberry, Micayla Rhodes, Rebecca Rivera-Trent, Amanda White, Teyo Bennett, Chase Church, Logan Farr, Tiana Fitzgerald, Moses Guillen, Miguel Hermosillo-Velez, River Hill, Kathryn Kelley, Sydney Kennedy, Chris Merino, Ethan Strouse, and Hannah Wyrick.
Western Slope Honor Choir will be held March 3-5. Approximately 250 singers from 40 Colorado High Schools are selected by audition to participate in two Honor Choirs – Mixed and Women’s. A nationally known choral conductor directs each choir. This year’s Women’s Choir conductor is Kelly Hudson from Concord University of and this year’s Mixed Choir conductor is John Petzet from Louisiana Tech University.
If you have questions, comments or concerns regarding anything in Garfield Re-2, please contact Garfield Re-2 Director of Districtwide Services Theresa Hamilton at 970-665-7621.
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.