Pair of CHS Choir Students Earn All-State Honors

CHS choir students Edgar Diaz and Zachary Repine

Six Killeen ISD choir students earned Texas Music Educators Association All-State status this year.


The group includes senior Edgar Diaz and sophomore Zachary Repine from Chaparral High School, as well as Elena Bryan, Mattais Fragoso, Benjamin Saban Contreras and Jaedon Trevino of Harker Heights High School.


Diaz was the first and only choir member to make the state’s top choir from Chaparral a year ago, so he and Repine represent the beginning of the second-year school choir program’s All-State tradition.


Bryan earned the All-State mark for the fourth time, giving the senior a rare and amazing sweep of the high honor.


The two Chaparral honorees praised their director, Gerald Nicholas, for motivating them to persevere through the arduous process. Both sang in choir at Patterson Middle School when he led the program there, bringing a wealth of awards to the Cavalier choirs.


In 2020, the Patterson tenor-bass choir earned state honor choir status and traveled to San Antonio to perform at the TMEA conference. Two years later, the school’s boys’ choir performed at the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association Conference in Little Rock.

Chaparral HS All-State Choir


Now at Chaparral High, Nicholas and associate choir director Eric Bourg create a unique, welcoming environment that produces excellence, their award-winning students said.


“It’s exciting to see the hard work pay off and to get to pay homage to the work the directors put into it,” said Diaz. “Last year, I got to be the first, and now I get to share the experience. It’s exciting. There will definitely be more (All-State choir members from Chaparral).”


Diaz earned a spot in the state’s tenor-bass choir as a Bass 1 and Repine earned a position in the higher-ranked mixed choir as a Tenor 1.


“It’s definitely stressful,” said Repine, explaining that choir students across the state receive audition music in July, practice through the first semester and compete at region, pre-area and area levels through January.


The biggest challenge to making the elite choir, the two said, is learning to juggle the rest of life while spending hours perfecting extremely difficult choral music.


As the semester concluded, there were late evenings when Diaz worked in the choir practice room, alternating between singing and preparing for the state firefighter exam.


He completed Killeen ISD’s firefighter academy and passed the state test. He is now completing the EMS academy work.


Meanwhile, Repine ran back and forth from the choir room to the auditorium, simultaneously learning high-level choral music and lines for the school's theatrical productions.

All-State Choir CHS


Both got their singing start in the Patterson Middle School choir under Nicholas and developed strong loyalty to the popular director.


A year ago, Repine, as a freshman was a second alternate in the All-State audition, not quite making the cut, while Diaz made the top All-State Mixed Choir.


“After that, I put in the work,” said Repine. “I basically lived here. It’s just something I wanted to do. I’ll be with Mr. Nic seven years, and I want to make him proud.”


Diaz worked alongside Nicholas at Patterson in seventh and eighth grade, then attended Ellison High School two years, before switching over to Chaparral last year when it opened to rejoin his former choir director.


He improved from 77th position to fourth in the All-State selection process between his sophomore and junior years.


“It’s the belief he puts in you,” said Diaz of his director's attraction. “He believes in you, and then you realize, ‘I have the capabilities.’ He gives his all. He does more than he has to do.”


The combination of Nicholas and Bourg make up a “dynamic duo,” sharing their wealth of choir knowledge and life advice as well.


“I’ve been with Mr. Nic since sixth grade. He said, ‘You will do this because you can.’ I didn’t expect to stay in it, but I chose choir over other activities and high school has been even better,” said Repine.


Nicholas, an All-State choir member his senior year at Shoemaker High School, praised Diaz and Repine for their relentless commitment. “It’s a lot of extra hours since the summer,” he said. “They came in for help before school, after school, during holidays – they practiced a lot.”


The second year high school choir director said the school’s first two All-State choir members will motivate many future Bobcats to achieve the same level of excellence.


The All-State Choir performs in February at the TMEA Conference in San Antonio.