Video: SHHS quartet advances to Texas All-State Choir

Video: SHHS quartet advances to Texas All-State Choir
Posted on 02/15/2018
Video: SHHS quartet advances to Texas All-State Choir

By Reesha Brown & Rob Smith
PISD Communications

When South Houston High choir members Jonathan Escolar, Sydnee Horton, Matthew Linares and Jennifer Tafolla learned they earned a seat in the Texas All State Choir, it was music to their ears.

“It’s such an honor,” Horton said. “We’ve been going at this since last summer and now we’re really getting a chance to see it all unfold.”

All state choir members are selected individually and the quartet from South Houston was the only Pasadena ISD group selected to advance to the state level and perform in the all-state choir.

Tenors Escolar and Linares were selected for first and second chair, respectively. Tafolla earned a spot as a first chair alto and Horton as a second chair soprano.

The rigorous selection process involved competing against nearly 70,000 of the top high school singers in the state.

Preparations for the competition included practicing afterschool, daily, and learning a small selection of music.

“Every practice you missed put you back a day,” Tafolla said.

While the students admit that preparing for the four-part competition was a challenge, it was their choir instructor Brenda Varvoutis who pushed them to excellence.

“What we would do is sing for Mrs. V. (Varvoutis),” Linares, second-year all-state chair said. “She would give you her criticisms so you could sing better and then you practice it on your own to make sure that you get it right.”

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the choir will perform during the all-state concert at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

“I’m glad we all made it,” Tafolla said. “As long as we can all be there to share this experience together, I’m happy.”

Here are all of the Pasadena ISD musicians (choir, band and orchestra) who qualified for All State membership for the 2017-18 school year:

Dobie HS
Roberto Campa – Alto Saxophone

Pasadena Memorial HS
Johnny To – Bb Clarinet

Sam Rayburn HS

Charles Dyall – Cornet/Trumpet

South Houston HS
Sydnee Horton – Soprano 2

Jennifer Tafolla – Alto 1

Jonathan Escobar – Tenor 1

Matthew Linares – Tenor 2