Silverton High School Concert Choir returned from the state competition with a first place title. After performing five pieces with beautiful precision, the Foxes learned that they;d tied with Central High School at 324 points for the first place finish.
“The concert choir’s performance was so powerful and so extraordinary. I actually got choked up,” said Silver Falls Superintendent Andy Bellando.
Although the students sang for less than half an hour in order to secure the win, their state title was backed with hundreds of hours of practice and hard work.
“State competition is a celebration of what we do,” said SHS Concert Choir Director, Cole Haole-Valenzuela, “I know that no matter how we placed on that day, the concert choir singers would have been proud of what they did and happy with the opportunity to share with the audience what they love to do.”
Remarkably, the Foxes even had a special spectator personally thank them. After performing a piece by Paul John Rudoi, who is working on his Master’s in Choral Conducting and Composition at the University of Oregon, Rudoi thanked the choir for selecting his piece to sing.
“The singers did what they have been doing all year: singing high-quality music with excellence,” said Haole-Valenzuela, “I knew that they would perform to inspire and connect with others through their singing.”
Only in his second year at Silverton High School, Haole-Valenzuela has earned a reputation as being energetic and passionate about music, students, and excellence.
“Just watching Mr. H teach is really inspiring. He’s got this energy and body language and the students respond. It’s so clear that he is not only passionate about the music, but he cares about the kids,” said SHS Principal Wade Lockett.
SHS Concert Choir students agree.
“Mr.H has inspired me to be a music educator myself,” said high school junior Connor Mackie, “He has changed so many lives and I don’t think we could ever give him the recognition he deserves.”
At the end of the day, the SHS Concert Choir recognizes that what is most important is their relationships with one another.
“We are a family,” said Senior McKenzie Wharton.
Ultimately, these hard-working students know that success is a team effort.