Four Alvarado High School students who represented the choir program in this year’s all-region choir have advanced to the fourth and final round of all-state choir tryouts.

“Jonathan Arndt, Layne Kight, Austin McIntosh and Bud Mize all sang extraordinarily well at the pre-area auditions on Friday evening, Nov. 16,” said Edward Smith, director of the Alvarado High School choirs, saying that their names were among those announced immediately following the all-district and all-region choirs concert the next day, Saturday, Nov. 17. Smith added that the four will travel to Midland to compete at the area auditions at Lee High School on Saturday, Jan. 5.

Smith noted that the 12 individuals in each section of the all-region choir participated in the pre-auditions on the 16th and only the top five from each section were selected to advance.

“Layne continued to hold on to his No. 1 ranking as our region’s best bass I,” Smith said. “Austin is now not far behind, as he made a big move up to second chair. Holding the top two positions in that section is a terrific accomplishment for our program.

“Jonathan, a freshman, also moved up in the rankings, nailing down second chair in the tenor I section - quite an achievement for so young a singer,” said Smith, noting that the most sizable advance was made by Mize who went from 11th chair to fourth chair in the tenor II section.

“The judges were extremely complimentary of our guys’ musicianship and their attention to detail with each earning high marks for tone quality, intonation and phrasing,” Smith said. “All four of them also scored exceptionally well in the sight-reading part of the competition. The contestants are given 30 seconds to study a melody that is eight measures long. They then sing the melody for the judges. The melody is made up of 30 notes and each note is worth two points - one point for rhythm and another point for pitch. Of the 48 guys who auditioned, only three earned a perfect score of 60. Bud was one of those three. Jonathan, Layne, and Auston led their sections with scores of 54, 58 and 56, respectively.

“Because our guidance counselors made certain to schedule honor chorale at a time of day when all three of the district’s choir directors are on the AHS campus, Mrs. Ray and Mrs. Leddy are able to work with the guys individually each time their class meets,” Smith said. “Due to scheduling conflicts, I was the only choir director on campus at the time of day honor chorale met last year and our students didn’t receive so much individual attention. I am exceedingly grateful to Johanna and to Fran for their exemplary work preparing these young men for this most recent round of competition.”