25 from Brandywine choir make it to state

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Twenty-five Brandywine High School students who participated in the state Solo and Ensemble Festival at Hudsonville High School outside Grand Rapids, April 25, clearly showed they know how to sing.
The 25 students participating qualified for the state event through the district Solo and Ensemble Festival that took place at Lakeshore High School on February 21.
The students, at both district and state level, were judged based on their performance of two memorized songs, as well as sight-reading.
Sight-reading requires the performer to sing a previously unseen piece from sheet music.
William Bredow, sophomore, and Jill Kimmerley, junior, said it's always hard to know what the judges want to hear.
And the festival at Hudsonville High School was no different in that respect.
Kimmerley, who has been singing since sixth grade and might study music when she enters college, said all judges want something different.
But she thought the one she had was strict.
To receive a first rating she would have needed an overall score between five and seven, she said.
The lowest rating, fifth, only required a score between 18 to 20 points, she said.
She said if a judge doesn't like a student's performance, the judges can give comments only.
However, having received eight points and a two-rating, she said it's always a good experience to know what to practice on and how to improve for future festivals.
Heather Perkins, also a junior, said she too was only one point away from a one-rating.
She thought the experience at the state festival was stressful, but still enjoyed it.
To her, however, singing is not so much about competition and ratings.
The soloists who received one-ratings at the state festival were 12th grader Brittney Bennett and 10th grader Cody Miller.
Denise Boger, Brandywine high school choir director, said Brittney has had straight one-ratings at the four district festivals she has participated in.
She has participated in four state festivals and has twice received a one-rating.
Cody Miller, she said, has received a one-rating for two years, at both the district and state level.
Soloists who received two-ratings were: Shannon Hancock, William Bredow, Jill Kimmerley and Heather Perkins.
It was their first time participating at the state festival, Bogar said.
Boger said the high school also sent two girls ensembles to the state festival.
One of the groups is Sweet Sounds consisting of nine ninth graders and nine 10th graders.
The other is Varsity Voices Women, a group consisting of 14 10th graders and 11 12th graders.

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