Faust sings to greatness


Stephanie Faust

Rachel stands happily next to the PMEA sign after placing 2nd overall out of the whole District! Great job Rachel!

Whether students prefer to sing in a group or by themselves, it is an excellent way to get in touch with creativity. Other students enjoy exploring the more competitive side of music through organizations such as PMEA. The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, known as PMEA, is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the musical development of all Pennsylvanians. The group was started in 1933 by a small group of band directors. 

In PMEA, there are twelve districts organized by regions of Pennsylvania; Washington County is included in District One. District One is composed of over 550 schools and multiple voice teachers. In past years, there have been voice teachers from universities such as Youngstown State and Ohio State. 

Senior Rachel Faust found out about District Choir during her freshman year, but since a requirement is to be at least a sophomore, she chose to do Honors Choir instead. She found this great opportunity from Mr. Komula and her voice teacher, both of whom encouraged her to audition for it. With little convincing needed, Faust decided to try out and ultimately made it.
Districts, Regionals and States each take place at a different school each year, but the school has to have a big enough stage and auditorium to fit all the students from the different counties. For this year, the States location has not been decided, and Regionals and Districts have been canceled. This means that no in-person or Zoom festivals will happen for Districts or Regionals this year; however, the administration meetings that happen during these festivals will still occur. 

Faust is extremely disappointed that she can not attend districts this year, though she understands that there is no safe and responsible way to put on the festival: “Districts is something I look forward to, and it saddens me that it can’t happen this year.”

Typically, the music for Districts is passed out at the beginning of each school year and students have until December to learn it. When arriving at the auditions, directors introduce the three different audition types: sight-singing, lyrical and technical. Everyone auditioning is told what excerpts they are to sing and then the instructor gives them their starting pitch through a pitch pipe. While students wait to be called for their audition, they hand over their music to the Sargent in Arms so that they do not have unfair practicing times. The sight-singing aspect of the audition is the most anxiety-inducing because students do not have much time to prepare for their performance. 

The day after auditions, it is announced who made it into Regionals and what chair they received. This year, Faust was the 2nd chair in Regionals for Alto One. 

Regionals is a bigger, intense, and more competitive competition. The directors are more prestigious; the director from last year studied at Youngstown State and was originally from South Korea. Regional auditions, however, are quite similar to District auditions except for the fact that there is no extra sight-singing audition. On the morning of Regionals, students will find out if they advance to the next level and they will receive the music there or shortly after. 

After Regionals, some people make it into States, which is an even smaller and more elite group of students. 

Faust encourages students to try out for Districts as it is a great experience where lifelong friends can be met. She says that learning the assigned music might be tedious, but in the long run, it is a great experience. Faust also says that she hopes more Trinity students will try out for Regionals so that she can come and see them perform.