If there was any doubt this has been a highly successful year for the Big Spring High School choir program, the medal haul from this week's state solo and ensemble contest belied those concerns.
A record 18 gold medals were won by BSHS choir students at the University Interscholastic League's Solo and Ensemble Contest, held earlier this week at the University of Texas in Austin, BSHS Choir Director Anna Gann said.
The students won the gold medals for earning Division I ratings (the highest possible) for their performances at the state contest. They had qualified for the Austin trip by garnering Division I ratings at regional competition earlier this year.
Students earning gold medals were: David Juarez, Michael Mathews, Dakota Jones, Cory Hilario, Sarah Reyes, Joshua Martinez, Travis Garrard, Bilhah Guillory, Chellsie Clay, Alexis Armstrong, Andrea Cervantez, Nick Sotelo, Aron Rios, Rikki Salgado, Jasmine Martinez, Brycen Kiker and Ryan Armstrong.
In addition, BSHS students won five silver medals for receiving a Division II rating from judges.
Gann tried to put this week's medal count into perspective.
“In my entire career, I've never had more than four students earn gold medals,” she said. “Two years ago, we had three students win one — and that was a lot.”
This week's gold rush put the capper on a very successful year for the program. In April, the Meistersingers and Women's Varsity Choir each earned sweepstakes honors by earning Division I ratings in concert and sight-reading performances at the UIL regional meet in Midland.
It marked the second time in three years a BSHS choir had earned a sweepstakes trophy, Gann said.
“This was a wonderful way to end a great year,” Gann said. “I'm very proud of all of them.”