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Chor Leonis selected as one of 12 bands in 5A Division to compete next week at state

COURTESY PHOTO - The St. Helens High School choir, Chor Leonis, will be heading to the Oregon Scholastic Activities Association State Championships on Tuesday, April 30. The St. Helens High School's Chor Leonis choir has been selected as one of 12 in the state in the 5A Division to perform at the Oregon Scholastic Activities Association championships next week.

The choir will compete Tuesday, April 30, marking the third year in a row it has qualified to perform at state.

Qualifying to compete at state is no small task. A choir from each of the four league divisions automatically qualifies if it takes first place at the Northwest Oregon Conference All League competition. The remaining eight spots, two in each division, are awarded to choirs selected from a tape pool.

A choir must earn scores of 81 out of 100 possible points from three judges at two separate district competitions to qualify to submit a recording into the tape pool. This year, 15 schools qualified for the tape pool and were then competing for those eight open slots.

"As you can see, it's quite the honor to be selected and recognized as one of the top 12 in the state of Oregon. Now we are onto the championships! At this point, my goal is to have the best performance of the year," Choir Director Eric Stearns stated in an email to the Spotlight. "Beyond that, how we place, what the judges say — that's out of our control. What's important is going and giving our best, and winning the audience with a fantastic, musical performance."

Stearns noted that the 5A NWOC League is highly competitive.

"This is the most competitive 5A League, where almost half of the 12 schools that go to state come from each year. It is impressive that such amazing music is being made in our area," Stearns wrote.

The state championships will be held at Oregon State University.

"It will be an amazing day at OSU ... and we will give it our all!" Stearns added.

The choir has 39 members this year and will perform five pieces: "Ain't-a-That Good News!" arranged by William Dawson; "El Grillo" by Josquin DePrez; "The Blue Bird" by Charles Villiers Stanford; "Muié Rendêra" arranged by CA Pinto Fonseca; and "Sililiza" by Jim Papoulis.

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