Canutillo High School Chamber Choir Earns Highest Achievement
“It will be one of the most memorable concerts in three days of contest. Bravo to your outstanding choir and superb director. You knocked it out of the ballpark! Canutillo Choir’s got it goin’ on. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!”
This was the rave review given to the Canutillo Independent School District’s Canutillo High School (CHS) Chamber Choir by one of the judges at the 2022 University Interscholastic League (UIL) Regional Concert and Sight Reading Evaluation held on April 21, at Montwood High School, where the CHS ensemble under the direction of Guillermo Adame Jr., earned Sweepstakes for their performance.
Sweepstakes is the highest achievement under the evaluation. The state of Texas, through UIL, has established a rating system to measure music programs statewide. Choirs across the region were rated in two different categories – stage concert performance and music literacy, called sight-reading. CHS Chamber Choir achieved the highest possible rating, which is Division 1 or “Superior” from all judges, in both categories, resulting in the distinction of Sweepstakes for the ensemble.
“When the judges judge a group, they seldom put down their pencils because they are writing critiques. I saw something I have never seen before,” said Dr. Regino Ramos, Canutillo ISD School of Music director and CHS band director. “The head judge, even before the final song was over, raised his hands above his head and began clapping for the choir. Then as the choir cut off the last note, the judge’s clapping turned into two thumbs up.”
In this year’s listing, there were 75 performing choirs, including middle and high schools. The participating choirs do not compete against each other, instead, performances are based on an evaluation against the statewide rubric to ensure that a Sweepstakes program in one part of the state matches up to a Sweepstakes program in any other part of the state.
This is the third Sweepstakes earned by the CHS Chamber Choir but for the group, this one is a bit more memorable since it was the first time performing at UIL since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Coming off of COVID, not having performed at UIL for two years, and not having met live with the students for 1.5 years, this is quite an achievement,” Ramos said. “The choir program began with very few singers with any UIL experience, so earning this is a great accomplishment. A testament to the hard work of the students and choir director Mr. Adame. The program is also indebted to the great support that CHS Principal, Ms. Teresa Clapsaddle, and her administrative staff offer.”
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