FAQ

This page should answer many of the questions you have about choir at Tompkins High School.  If you can’t find your answer here, then please contact one of the directors or any of the Choir Booster Club board members.

What are the different choirs at Tompkins and how is my choir placement determined?

Just as there are different levels in other subject areas, it is also necessary to have different levels within the choir program.  All choirs are equally important performing organizations.

The  4 choirs available at Tompkins HS are:

  • Sound FX
  • Chorale Women
  • Women’s Choir
  • Forte – Men’s Choir

For more information on each of the choirs and the placement guidelines see our Choir Placement page.

How does the All-State process work?

The All-State audition process for high school choir students leads ultimately to qualification in one of three All-State Choirs that perform at the annual TMEA Clinic/Convention: Women’s Choir, Men’s Choir, and Mixed Choir.

Music for the All-State auditions will be made available for purchase during the summer months. By early August, practice tracks will be available for students to download from the website or on CD which can be obtained from Mr. Carter. Students may also choose to attend one of the many All-State Choir Camps that are offered during the summer at university campuses around the state of Texas.

All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. This competitive process begins in September with the District Auditions. At this audition (which includes 100′s of students) individual students perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians (usually around 40 students per voice part) advances from their District to compete against students from other Districts in the Region Auditions. These auditions are held on a Saturday and take most of the day.

The Region Auditions are identical to the District auditions except that there are fewer students and the music selected for the auditions is different. The highest-ranking voices judged at the Region Auditions (usually the top 15 on each voice part) will advance to the Pre-Area Auditions. All students who are ranked in the top 40 in their voice part will perform in a Region Choir Concert. These auditions are held on a Saturday and take most of the day.

Students who were selected to continue to the Pre-Area auditions will audition again, with different music than was used in the first two auditions and will also be judged on sight reading. The top 5 students on each voice part will advance to the Area auditions where they will compete against the other Areas in the state. These auditions usually take place one evening after school and go until around 10PM.

The Area auditions also consist of selections of music as well as sight reading. Students judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group. These All-State students participate in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally recognized conductors during the annual state TMEA Clinic/Convention. Their performances before thousands of attendees bring this extraordinary event to a close.

Parent volunteers will be needed as chaperones for the District, Region and Pre-Area auditions.

What is the UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest?

Each year, usually in the early Spring, students are required to participate in the UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest.  This competition is held on a Saturday and takes most of the day.

Parent volunteers will be needed to chaperone this event. Students should dress in attire like they would wear to a nice event or church — no jeans or shorts.

The students will select (choir directors and voice teachers often help in the music selection process) a piece of music appropriate to their ability to learn and then perform in front of a judge. On the day of the contest, the student will sing in front of one judge and will be judged on a number of qualities (including tone, technique, interpretation and general effect). Rankings range from 1 (highest) to 3 (lowest). Students receiving a 1 on a level 1 solo may choose to participate in the UIL Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest (TSSEC) at the end of the school year.

What is UIL?

UIL Concert and Sight-reading contest is held each year during the Spring semester.  This is a choir competition rather than an individual competition.

Each choir will perform 3 pieces of music. At least one of the pieces must be sung A cappella. They will be judged by three judges and will receive a ranking based on their performance. Following their concert, they will be taken to the sight-reading room, where they will be given a piece of music they have never seen before. They will be 6 minutes to practice before they must perform it for the judges. They will again be ranked based on their performance.

Parent chaperones will be required to accompany each choir.

Where can I get character shoes?

There are many places where you can purchase character shoes.  One of the closest and most convenient places is on S Mason Rd.

Costumes & Dancewear
515 S. Mason Rd.
Katy, TX  77450
(281) 398-1990

What is a Coffee House Concert?

Coffee House concerts are fundraisers that give selected choir students a chance to perform their favorite music either in small ensembles or as solo acts. Coffee Houses are held in the ninth grade commons and admission is $5.00. Students who perform in the coffee houses are chosen by audition a few weeks before the performance.

Coffee House concerts are not typical concerts. They are much more relaxed and attendees are free to get up and move around during the concert. The tables in the ninth grade commons are decorated with table cloths and centerpieces. Parents donate baked goods which are available along with coffee, tea and water. All snacks and beverages are free of charge, but a donation is suggested.

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