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The choir earned first place in the Tri-Valley Conference and will compete at state in May

On Thursday, April 12, the Molalla High School Choir sang their way to the top of the district competition and all the way to the state championship, which will be held in May.

Six schools competed Thursday before three judges at the Tri-Valley Vocal Festival, an Oregon School Activities Association sanctioned event. Choirs that receive at least two judges' scores of 81 (out of 100) or better have a chance to qualify for state. An average score of 86 is an automatic-in.

Under choir director Tim Friesen, Molalla earned massive scores from all three judges: 93, 92 and 92, earning them the conference title and advancement to state.

"They did a beautiful job today, probably some of the highest scores I've seen us get at district competition," Friesen said.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: TIM FRIESEN - On Thursday, April 12, the Molalla High School Choir sang their way to the top of the district competition and all the way to the state championship, which will be held in May.

The 58-person choir performed four numbers in different international-inspired styles including Latin, African, American Spiritual and Brazilian. They sang only one of the songs in English. The kind of performance they brought to the stage is what this choir is all about, according to Friesen.

"It's not about winning a championship for us," he said. "We don't go to a festival to sing for scores. We go to try to take people on a musical journey with what we do, and every time we perform we try to get better than the time before; and then the scores kind of take care of themselves.

"It's more about being able to look at yourself in the mirror when you get home at night and say, 'I did my very best,' than it is to get a high mark. You need to know that you poured everything into it that you could, and if you do that, it doesn't really matter what the judges' scores are. We just happened to be fortunate enough to do very, very well, and for the judges to think so as well."

The very next day, the choir leaves on a redeye flight to New Orleans to kick off their biennial tour. At the start of the weeklong tour, they will board a cruise ship in New Orleans and perform on the ship in the Western Caribbean. They will also sing in Mexico, and return to New Orleans for recreation before returning home and preparing for their state competition.

Molalla's choir will perform at the OSAA Music State Championship on Friday, May 4 at George Fox University's Bauman Auditorium. Doors open at 8 a.m. and performances begin at 9 a.m. The event is open to the public and tickets can be bought online at http://www.osaa.org/activities/cho/tickets or at the door. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for students.

"I expect this group to represent Molalla very well when they're there," Friesen said. "They just continue to be hungry to get better, and so as a result, they will be. They'll be better than they are now. And that's good. It's good for our community to have not just sports that are strong but other events that are strong as well."


Kristen Wohlers
Reporter
503-829-2301
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