Bishop O'Connell choral students received some very good news recently, as all 42 members who auditioned for the prestigious District XII Honors Choir were accepted. In addition, three seniors—Sade Jackson, Katie Stansel and John Tuason—were named to the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) Senior Honors Choir.
"This is a remarkable accomplishment for all our students," said O'Connell's Choral Director, Kyra Stahr. "The audition format was extra challenging this year, given that all events moved to a virtual format."
For the District Honors Choir, students prepared and submitted an audio recording of the song "Deep River" using an online platform called Opus. Then they were given 30 seconds to look at a four-measure sight-reading passage and recorded themselves performing right after. Students were competing against other high school students in District XII, which includes Arlington and a portion of Fairfax County.
For the VMEA Senior Honors Choir the process was very similar, but students were required to video and audio record themselves. They were asked to learn the piece "I Attempt from Love's Sickness" and sight-read eight measures of complex music, competing against 12th grade students from throughout Virginia.
The District XII Honors Choir will create one virtual choir performance per ensemble to be released sometime in the spring. The VMEA Senior Honors Choir will participate in four virtual rehearsals with Dr. Christopher Aspaas from Texas Christian University, and will release a virtual choir in March to celebrate "Music in our Schools Month."
Pictured below (l to r): Seniors Sade Jackson, Katie Stansel and John Tuason.