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A look into musical UIL competitions

Hannah Harkins, Staffer

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On Wednesday, April 3, and Thursday, April 4, orchestra and choir participated in their annual UIL evaluations. All competing choirs and the top two orchestras performed very well and received sweepstakes.

The UIL evaluations are graded via a point system where lower numbers are better. The lowest possible number that a group can receive is a one. If a group receives all ones for their performance, then it is known as a sweepstake.

At the evaluation, each choir sings three prepared songs in front of three judges, and each judge gives them a score of 1-5. Afterward, they go into a secluded room and receive a piece of music that they have not seen before. They are given time to study and chant the music. Then they perform the song on solfege twice in front of three judges. Each judge gives them a score from 1-5.

“We’ve been preparing for UIL all year,” freshman Kieley Stallings said. “Our last concert we performed the UIL songs, but even before that we practiced a lot.”

Before performing, the orchestras are brought to a practice room where they tune their instruments and brush up their pieces before performing. Similar to the choir, they then perform three songs in front of three judges on stage, and each judge gives them a score from 1-10. They are then taken to a secluded room and sight read a piece that they have not seen before. Each orchestra is given eight minutes to “shadow-bow” (move the bow without it touching or playing the instrument) the piece, and then they perform it in front of three judges. Each judge gives them a score from 1-5.

While the top two orchestras performed well and received sweepstakes, the bottom orchestra received one two. This is the first time in many years that any of the HPHS orchestras have not received all ones.

Both electives have been preparing for UIL all year and represented Highland Park well with their outstanding performances and scores. The musical electives always impress the judges at UIL and continue to keep the tradition of excellence alive.

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