A Choir wins PIL Championship


As the sounds of angelic voices filled the Grant High School auditorium on the afternoon of April 9, tensions were high amongst the audience of almost 300 choir students all there to compete for the district championship. 6A high schools Wilson, Cleveland, Madison, Lincoln, and Grant were all competing for first place, guaranteeing a spot in the state competition.

There are three judges who give each choir a score out of 100 based on quality of sound, technique, musicality, and other factors such as choice of music and appearance. The choir with the highest average score from all three judges wins. Each choir gets a mini workshop onstage with a judge immediately after their performance.

“The other choirs were very developed musically and vocally but I personally think we have an advantage on them technically,” said sophomore member Simon Brown.

Most of the choirs in the competition had previously been in the 5A competition level and had to adjust to competing in 6A.

“I think that since we moved up to 6A it was definitely more competitive and we had to work much harder to step it up and get to that level,” said senior and A Choir member Molly Carpenter. “The whole day went really well and I think it helped that everyone remained super positive all day.”

The hosting school’s choir, The Royal Blues, had lots of experience of being in 6A and that truly showed when they performed their impressive set under the direction of John Eisemann.

Even though Grant had some practice in the higher level, all of the choirs stepped up to the plate and proved that they were 6A material. The 2013 5A State Champions, the Wilson Wilsingers, didn’t disappoint with their diverse set and got great feedback from the judges. The concert choir from Lincoln made up for their small numbers by highlighting their assets: a truly amazing soprano solo in one of their spirituals. The Madison Singers did a great job with a unique song for choir, “Summertime,” by George Gershwin.

“It’s really interesting to hear the contrast between our set and the other sets, and how everybody’s musical choices are so different. But I think that this has probably been the best PIL performance we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said director Diana Rowey.

“Cleveland was definitely the cutest choir,” Laura Young recounted, a senior. “Our preparation really paid off and as soon as we got on stage we remembered every last word of what we’d been taught.”

Even though their performance seemed to go smoothly, the competition was fierce and nobody knew what to expect with the results. On Monday morning, A Choir was informed that they won with a score of 281.

“When I found out we won I was relieved and happy because the others choirs were also on a very high competition level,” said Brown. “Our set showed off different techniques and types of music” said Carpenter.

“It was super cool getting to hear the other choirs in the district perform their sets. Everyone in A Choir has worked really hard this year and has put in a lot time and effort. This is a really great group and I think with our sound we can crush it at state,” added sophomore Max Friedenwald-Fishman.

A Choir will continue on to the OSAA state 6A competition on Saturday, May 9.