Spartan singers successful at state choir competition

The Sumner High School choir just wrapped up another successful year by sending two Spartans to state. Juniors Janelle Purser and Elly Mark both sang at the state solo and ensemble contest last weekend at Central Washington University. Purser and Mark sang together and separately. For their ensemble, they received an "excellent" rating.

Elly Mark and Janelle Purser after their performances of the weekend of April 30.

The Sumner High School choir just wrapped up another successful year by sending two Spartans to state.

Juniors Janelle Purser and Elly Mark both sang at the state solo and ensemble contest last weekend at Central Washington University.

Purser and Mark sang together and separately. For their ensemble, they received an “excellent” rating.

Purser also received an excellent rating in the alto category while Mark received an excellent rating in the soprano category.

Their success at state comes after a long list of choral achievements. In their freshmen year, Mark made honor choir with the American Choral Directors Association while Purser made the All Northwest Choir in the same organization. In their sophomore year, Mark and Purser both made the All Northwest Choir with the Washington Music Educators Association.

In their junior year, Purser again sang in the WMEA honor choir with Mark, who also went on to sing in the ACDA honor choir.

Their school choir director, Karlene Miles, said both girls are extremely driven and musically inclined.

While Purser and Mark are this year’s star singers, the rest of the Spartan choir also saw a large amount of success.

Many Spartans sang at this years Valley Region Solo and Ensemble contest at Todd Beamer High School Feb. 8 to compete for a state position against singers from the Sumner, Puyallup and Federal Way districts.

Singers were given a score from one to five, one being the best score to receive.

Spartans who ranked a one were Mina Hassani, Pia Andrade, Madison Hanenburg and Madi Bauer in the Women’s Quartet category; Breanna Fisher, Savannah Harding and Ceara Daniels in the Women’s Trio category; Arabella Andros, LG Grubb, Amanda Schendzielos, Lindsey Gieser and Jessica Furnstahl in the Women’s Ensemble category; Maddie Laskowski in the mezzo-soprano category; Sammie Wilson (who went to state last year) and Shelby Hickman in the alto category; and Pia Andrade in the soprano category.

Andrade and Wilson were both picked to be first-alternate in soprano and alto respectively, and Hickman was selected as second alternate to alto.

The choir also competed in New York at the beginning of April at the Heritage Music Festival at Riverside Church.

“The choirs really outdid themselves,” Miles said. “They sang beautifully and the judges were impressed.”

Bella Voce placed second in the 3A Women’s Choirs category and received a silver award.

The school jazz choir also received a silver award.

The Chamber Choir received a gold award, placed second in the 3A Chamber Choirs category and received the Adjudicator’s Award for receiving a score of 95 percent or higher.

Maestro awards for soloists were awarded to Jasper Bailie and Dom Camileri.

Miles said she was very impressed with this year’s group of choir students.

“There’s a quote up here… ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work.’ They’ve truly taken that to heart,” Miles said. “There’s something about the groups this year that have a different feeling, a different energy.”

The Spartan choir’s final concert for the year will be June 8, held in the high school performing arts center.

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