IHSA contest helps singers improve, get detailed criticism

Julian Ingersoll, Midway Reporter

U-High choir students performed solo and ensemble performances to receive a rating at the annual Illinois High School Association choral district festival at Reavis High School in Burbank on March 2.

Each student received scoring and feedback on improvements for their performances. They were awarded a score ranging from 1, the best, to 5. Each student received an average score of 2, and the highest-ranking individual was Kepler Boonstra. Ensembles were scored collectively. Each student was given a classical piece provided by music teacher Katy Sinclair. The students practiced frequently leading up to the concert, with Ms. Sinclair or with music teacher Hsing-Huei Huang. Students in an ensemble performance needed to set time aside to meet with the other students in their ensemble.

“This experience provides a venue for our students to receive coaching and critical assessment and feedback from qualified music instructors outside our school,” Ms. Sinclair said.

The festival also allows students to compete against other choiral students.

“IHSA is a really rewarding experience because it gives you the opportunity to not only to sing challenging repertoire, but also have fun and see it pay off in the end,” sophomore Cindy Wu, an IHSA singer, said. “I like the dissonance and how all the parts worked together, especially since it is a acapella. Hearing the resolve after a dissonance was definitely the best feeling.”