I Confess

A Facebook posting by one of my former students reminded me of my attitude pertaining to Interscholastic League Contests. For the sake of my students, I worked hard to perfect the ‘prescribed’ material required for that one-day-in-the-sun, but my heart was never in it.  I only felt we got a square assessment one time. For over 13-years, we traveled into ‘enemy territory’ to be adjudicated by ‘judges’ chosen by the powers within the region. Waco, Austin, Temple/Kileen always dominated. To the credit of my fine young men and women, our ratings were very good.  Sweepstake trophies adorned the shelves of awards for both Choir and Band.  I never felt that Buddy McGown was too overwhelmed by the events, but Jack Briggs was a nervous wreck. I never felt the need to compete with the other choirs in the region. I took the position that we were in competition with  a standard of excellence as prescribed by the interpretation printed on the choral score.  Unfortunately, not one Choral Director would totally agree as to that interpretation by another’s performance. The posting that got my attention and brought about this confession, was for the 1967 UIL rating. I have no recollection of the music we chose, but a rating of III in concert and a II in sightreading must have disappointed my choir. In defense of that choir, they knocked themselves out to do their best. In all fairness, every performance by every choir at SFA and Lamar was ‘above the average’ in public response. Those one-time performances, judged by my peers (envious, everyone of them) will never stand out as important. The many times we took to the risers; the numerous times my students brought down the house in musical theatrical performance; those will long endure. I can honestly say that every choir I had the privilege of leading, was far more outstanding in ‘quality’ than most. If you do not believe me, ask the members who gave of themselves with only one goal: The Bring Joy and Entertainment to Those who were fortunate to be in attendance.  To GOD’s GLORY, we did it!  That’s what I get from my Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

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