After battling her way through four grueling rounds of nerve-wracking auditions, Alvarado High School senior Summer Ladd was named to the All-State choir following the final session of tryouts on Saturday, Jan. 10 at Midland Lee High School.

Ladd will sing in the first soprano section of the All-State Women's Choir during the Texas Music Educators Association's (TMEA) Convention next month in San Antonio.

The choir will rehearse throughout the week of the convention, then present a concert on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. in the Lila Cockrell Theater, part of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center complex.

Summer began learning the audition music last summer at choir camp in July. The first round of tryouts was held less than a month after the first day of school.

Only a month after that came the second round.

Four weeks later, on the Friday before Thanksgiving break, she was singing in the third round, the contest that determines who will go on to the finals in January and who will go home.

The TMEA has a national reputation for being a top-flight organization.  The music chosen for its All State Choir auditions every year is tough, challenging music.  College students and adults find All State Choir music difficult.  For high school voices, some of it is almost impossible.

All fall, while Ladd wrestled with the audition selections, she also served as drum major for the AHS Golden Warrior Marching Band, leading rehearsals early every morning before school and leading performances every Friday night.  She was also holding down a high ranking on the AHS Varsity Tennis team. In addition, Ladd boasts a sterling academic record that keeps her ranked among the top ten students in her class.

Competing at the final round of auditions in Midland were 161 students from high schools across an area that stretches from the El Paso ISD to the H.E.B. ISD.  Only 72 chairs were available in the three All State Choirs - the mixed choir, the women's choir, and the men's choir.

In Ladd’s first soprano section, 20 girls vied for 10 chairs.  The top five finishers went to the mixed choir, while chairs six through ten went to the women's choir. Ladd was the only one who auditioned in the first soprano section that does not attend a 4A or 5A school.

At the end of the day, students from 5A programs occupied eight of the first soprano All-State chairs.  A student from 4A Arlington Seguin made the mixed choir.  Ladd was the only student from a 3A choir program in our area to make the All-State choir.  One of her judges was so impressed by her audition he awarded her first chair.  Another judge placed her in second chair.  Four of the five judges gave her a perfect score of 60 on her sight-reading.  The other judge gave her a 59.

“Ladd’s outstanding achievement is a testament to her talent, her diligence, her perseverance, and her dedication,” Alvarado High School choir director Edward Smith said. “The Texas All-State Choirs are among the most prestigious honor choirs in the nation.  The AHS choirs salute Summer for her success. We are proud to have her represent our program, our school, and our community.”

For more information contact: Tommy Brown, Public Information Officer, 817-783-6851 (office); 214-707-7421 (cell)