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Kingston earns 27 Superior medals at state vocal contest

By Jon Dohrer
Kingston Public Schools

SHAWNEE — Kingston vocal music students shone at the state's highest level, garnering 27 Superior medals at state contest.
Four solos and three ensembles received Superior ratings at the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association State Solo & Ensemble Contest last week in Shawnee. Director Gay Lynn Allen said the outstanding showing was the result of a complete effort on the part of the vocalists.
"I'm just so proud of them," Allen said. "They worked very hard in preparation, and then when it came time to get serious and get it done, they did a great job."
All the students performing at state contest earned the right to perform there by virtue of earning Superior ratings at district contest in February.
Vocalists who made I's on their solos at state were Jacy Germany, Luke Smith, Regan Stephenson and Olivia White.
Three ensembles earned Superior ratings. One went  to the large mixed ensemble of Robbie Bunger,  Marcus Burelson Germany, Jared Hayes, Paden Hayes, Brady Henderson, Tanner Holland, Jessica Kretzchmar, Lauren Johnson, Luke Smith, Macy Watts and White.
The small women's ensemble earned a I. Performers were Shelby Cosby, Rachel Davis, Germany, Johnson, Ena Sin, Stephenson, Watts, White and Taylor Williams.
Allen said all of the vocalists performed well, and added that she was particularly pleased with the performance of the large ensemble on "Kyrie" by Antonin Dvorák.
"It was the last performance of the day and it was absolutely gorgeous," Allen said. "I knew they had made a I before they even walked out of the room."
Soloists earning Excellent (II) ratings were Holland, Kretzchmar and Johnson. The small mixed ensemble of Davis, Carrie Reed, Victoria Hodges, Jasey Kite, Stephenson, Sin, White, Johnson, Kretzchmar and Watts also earned a II.
The small mixed ensemble received an Excellent rating. Performers were Hodges, Germany, Stephenson, Johnson, Kretzchmar, Haydel, Smith, Holland and Hayes. Allen said to receive a II at state is itself a noteworthy accomplishment, given the more stringent judging.
The director said there were no letdowns after earning Superior ratings at district contest. All the students worked diligently to improve their performances after district.
"There were several improvements to be made — down to the tiniest details of musicianship" Allen said. "They spent a lot of time polishing."