UIL Choir Concert & Sight Reading

Well, the 2018 UIL Contest season came and went and BL Gray Varsity girls performed admirably.  We received a division 2 overall rating (Excellent) on stage - the concert portion, and a division 1 rating (Superior) in the sight reading room.  The girls NEVER thought they'd could get a 1 in sight reading, so we all feel extremely proud of our efforts.

The other members of the BL Gray Rattler Choir department went to the contest to view how the contest operates so that they can get the desire to participate in UIL next year.

Three judges adjudicate the concert portion of the contest and each gives a numerical score from 1 to 5, with 1 being the best.  The judges scored our stage portion with a 1, 2, 2 (each judge's score counts and then the scores are averaged to reach the final score), which resulted in a division 2 rating.

Likewise, there are three different judges in the sight reading room.  We walk into the room and each of us receives a brand new piece of music that was written for this year's contest.  None of us have seen the music before, so we go in "blind."  We are allowed 6 minutes to study the music (not allowed to sing during the 6 minutes) and then we perform the piece.  We use practices from our classroom to figure out what the song sounds like.  We chant the rhythms out loud and use solfege handsigns to reinforce the pitches we see in the music.  Then our practice is to "sing it in our heads."  That process is called audiation.  The pitches for Do-Mi-So are played on the piano once to give us our starting pitches in our heads.  After the 6 minutes, we perform the piece for the judges.  After we perform it, we have 2 minutes for further study to figure out our errors, then we sing it again.  After this whole process, the judges scored it 1,1,2 - which averages up to a 1 or superior rating.  This year's song was a bit tricky, but we managed it well enough.

Here are our 2018 songs from the concert portion of the contest:
For the Beauty of the Earth

Dona Nobis Pacem

Will You Walk a Little Faster