By Tony Parra, PNT Staff Writer
Choir director Franklyn Smith said he was happy with the performances from the Portales High School and Portales Junior High choir students this week at district competitions, but it is the “journey” which makes him most proud.
“It was a very good showing for Portales students,” Smith said. “My students have worked so hard this year. We try to stress the preparation that goes into it — the journey — it takes towards excellence.”
The Portales High choir members earned a “1” superior ranking, the highest possible mark, from judges at the district choir competition in Hobbs Thursday. The mixed choir of girls and boys received a superior ranking on performance and sight-reading.
“I’m very proud of them and what they have achieved,” Smith said. “They were good, but they don’t just settle for that. They wanted 1s in everything. I’m glad they don’t settle and work harder towards getting 1s.”
The Portales Junior High choir scored a 1 in sight-reading Wednesday in Hobbs for their district competition. Smith said it’s the first time Portales junior high students have received a 1 rating in the last six years.
Portales freshman Carey Cox was part of the mixed choir group which received a 1 in the categories of performance and sight-reading. Cox was also part of the 26-member PHS female group which competed in treble. The treble group received a 2. The ratings are 1 for the highest to 4 for the lowest.
“I was quiet nervous, but I think we did a really good job,” Cox, an alto, said. “I’ve learned that preparing is essential. We’ve worked hard all year.”
It is the first year for Cox to be performing with the high school choir. Portales senior Chris Jarvis, on the other hand, is a veteran of the choir. Besides being the president of the high school choir, Jarvis has been in choir for the last five years.
Jarvis said there were choir members from Hobbs, Clovis, Artesia, Hagerman and Dexter who sang at district. Jarvis was one of the nine boys who performed in the men’s choir, which received a 2-plus rating.
“We were good, but we could have done better,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis loves choir and the preparation involved, so much so, that he wants to follow in “Smitty’s” (choir members nickname for Smith) footsteps and be a choir director.
Smith said Portales sophomore James Golden has also helped a great deal as an accompanist, playing the piano and Jeffrey Brooks as a flute soloist.
There are still some other important dates left for the choir students. The high school and junior high choir students will be performing at the end of the school year choir concert on May 11 in the PHS Performing Arts Center. Smith said a group of six students will perform at the Edward Jones Investment banquet at 6 p.m., Tuesday in the PHS cafeteria.
Smith said choir students will also sing at the Portales High School graduation at 7 p.m. at the Greyhound Arena.