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story.lead_photo.caption Photo submitted The Chamber Choir, directed by Julianna Tufts, is one of five Siloam Springs choirs headed to the Arkansas Choral Festival next month in Conway.

For the first time, all five of Siloam Springs High School's choirs qualified for the Arkansas Choral Festival next month in Conway.

The choirs earned their trip to the state competition at the Region 6 Choral Performance Assessment in Bentonville on Feb. 21, according to Julianna Tufts, high school choir director.

"We've had three go or four go (in the past) but we've never had all five choirs make it," she said.

During the regional assessment in February, choir students performed two pieces of music for a panel of three judges, then demonstrated their ability to sight-read music. They were scored on a scale of 1 to 100, with scores of 90 to 100 rating superior, scores of 86 to 89 rating excellent recommended, and scores of 80 to 86 rating excellent. Those who rated superior or excellent recommended were allowed to advance on to state.

The SSHS women's choir and men's choir, directed by Ethan Wells, both received a rating of excellent recommended, and the select women's choir, Panther Singers (a mixed choir) and the Chamber Choir, all directed by Tufts, received ratings of superior, she said.

The Chamber Choir also received the highest scores that Tufts said she has ever seen.

"This year they got two 99s and like a 97," she said. "We were pretty excited about that."

In addition, all four of the middle school's choirs, directed by Wells and Darlene Mock, earned ratings of superior. However, middle school students do not advance on to the state competition.

There are about 155 students who participate in the high school choir and 160 who are in the middle school choir, Tufts said. In the past years, the choir has nearly doubled in size at both the middle and the high school.

In addition, this year the high school choir had 29 members earn All-Region honors and 11 members earn All-State.

Tufts said the excitement about the choir's success, and the fact that the choirs now travel to destinations such as Dallas and St. Louis, Mo., encourage students to get involved.

"I think once they see how awesome it is and how much fun it is and that you can get college scholarships, you can major in this, you can make a living doing music, I think the excitement is just contagious, it catches on, and the kids are starting to see 'Oh, we go places, we travel,' she said.

The choirs will be performing for the community at the Panther Revue at 6:30 p.m. on April 25 and 26. Tufts described the event as a variety show, with a theme of "The evolution of music," that showcases music from the 1920s until the present.

General News on 03/13/2019

Print Headline: All five SSHS choirs make it to state

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