Woolley earns top honors in Pre-Area Choir tryout
From Staff Reports

Nov. 21, 2005 - Brandon Woolley earned top honors at the Pre-Area Choir tryouts in Canton last week and the right to compete for a spot on the All-State Choir.

Woolley competed Thursday at the Pre-Area tryouts and received a number one ranking for his Bass I audition, placing him among only 20,000 singers across the state ranked in the top five at this level of competition to qualify to compete at the state competition. Only the top 500 singers overall will be selected for spots in the All-State Choir.

�In this final round of competition, the top five Bass Is in our region will compete for only eight spots against the top five Bass I singers from three other regions,� SSHS Choral Director Jerry Bradley said Monday of the All-State Choir tryouts, which will be conducted Jan. 17.

Woolley is the first choir student from Sulphur Springs High School to reach this level of competition in four years. To help prepare vocally for competition, Woolley has received private vocal assistance from Sandra Klein as well as from Bradley.

Woolley was one of four SSHS students this year selected to performed during the Region Choir and Concert which was sponsored earlier this month by the Texas Music Educators Association at Mount Pleasant High School. 

He was ranked number three in region in the Bass I section and senior Jessica Lewis was ranked 14th in Alto II, following auditions at Gilmer High School last month. Senior Laura McCoy was selected to the Region IV Treble Choir following tryouts last month at Gladewater High School, and was ranked ninth in the Region in the Soprano I section. Randi Ruthart was also selected as first alternate in the Soprano I section of the treble choir.

All four of these students are accomplished singers; they were among the 12 SSHS students to qualify last year for the state solo and ensemble contest by earning first division ratings performing a Class I solo at Region IV UIL Solo and Ensemble tryouts in February.

Lewis and McCoy each earned first division solo ratings for their vocal solos at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Choir contest in the spring, while Ruthart earned an excellent rating for her choir solo. Woolley took first division rankings in both choir and band contests, a virtually unheard of feat, SSHS Band Director Charles McCauley noted at the time.

�The Texas State Solo and Ensemble contest attracts the most talented students musically in the state of Texas. To receive a division one rating in more than one contest is truly extraordinary, exceptional. It is extraordinary that this young musician accomplished so much at such a high level of competition,� State Director of UIL Music Richard Floyd said of Woolley�s accomplishment last spring.

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