Students prepare for state, regional performances

Sumner’s Men of Chamber Choir practiced presenting and singing their songs at a free concert at the high school on Feb. 3. The school’s next concert will be on March 26 in the Performing Arts Center.

Sumner High School students hit all the right notes last weekend when they competed at this year’s Valley Region Solo-Ensemble Contest. The contest, which included all Puyallup, Sumner and Federal Way schools, was held at Puyallup High School on Feb. 7.

“This Saturday was an incredible performance by all Sumner High School soloists and ensembles,” said Karlene Miles, the choir director at Sumner High School. “I couldn’t be prouder of their preparedness, professionalism, and sheer talent.”

Two of the singers from Sumner were senior Tristan Alamo and sophomore Janelle Purser.

Alamo performed with the Men of Chamber Choir and sang “Beati Mortui” (“Blessed the Dead) and “Ride the Chariot” and received a two, which is an excellent rating.

Purser sang with the Sumner High School Jazz Choir and sang “Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno” (“The White and Sweet Swan”) and received the highest rating of one.

Purser also performed with two other students and sang “Tatkovina”, and they all received a one and are the first alternates to state in the Small Mixed Ensemble category.

Both students said they’ve grown up around music and singing.

“My family has always been more musical-based in general,” Alamo said. “My mom, in high school, got my dad into choir and that is how they met. So I always just grew up with singing, so I just developed a passion for it.”

Alamo said that singing relieves daily stress for him and often starts beat-boxing without realizing it, just for fun.

Purser said she started out playing instruments, but started following in her mom’s footsteps as a singer. “I find it is a way to express myself, and it’s a class you can take and get credit for too, so that’s a bonus,” she said.

In April, Alamo will be participating in the Washington Music Education Association’s All-State choir while Purser will be in the National Association for Musical Education’s All Northwest Choir.

The All-Northwest choir consists of high school students from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska.

Both students will travel to Spokane on the weekend of Feb. 13 for intensive choir rehearsal sessions as they prepare for their respective concerts.