Four HHHS Choir Students Earn All-State Status

HHHS Choir qualifies four for All-StateIt’s difficult to overstate the combination of talent, work and showmanship required to earn a spot on the Texas All-State Choir.


This year, four Harker Heights High School choir students join two from Chaparral High School to make up Killeen ISD’s all-state qualifiers.


One of those, Harker Heights senior Elena Bryan, made history as the first female in KISD history to make the elite choir four straight years.


According to state archives, since 1968, only one other KISD student earned All-State status all four years.


This year, Bryan joins senior Mattais Fragoso, junior Jaedon Trevino and sophomore Benjamin Saban Contreras from Harker Heights and sophomore Zachary Repine and senior Edgar Diaz from Chaparral High School.


“It shows that with dedication and hard work dreams can come true,” said Bryan, reflecting Wednesday on her monumental achievement.


Making All-State Choir was on her radar as early as seventh grade and her diligence and improvement have matched her obvious talent.


As a freshman, Bryan made the seventh chair position in the state’s Treble Choir in a year that auditions were held virtually.


The following year, she earned second chair in the state’s top mixed choir. She repeated that last year as a junior. This year, she earned the coveted first chair in the Mixed Choir in her alto 1 vocal part.


“My goal was to be better each year. I would tell anyone, ‘don’t aim for a particular spot or a particular choir, aim to improve.’”


“It’s such a blessing,” said Bryan. “I’ve never been first chair at any level. I’m extremely grateful.”

HHHS All-State choir members


She praised Harker Heights High School choir directors Spencer Wiley and Amber Moon as well as vocal instructor Audrey Escoffery for motivating her to persevere and continue to improve.


This year, Bryan has been distracted by the challenge of poring over college offers. She is considering nine different music schools across the country and plans to pursue opera vocal performance.


She still has lots of Harker Heights choir to go, including the Texas Music Educators Association convention Feb. 7-9 in San Antonio and the choir’s annual Knight Club performances Feb. 23-24.


In addition to performing with the All-State Choir, the four Harker Heights qualifiers will join the rest of the school choir as a special invited guest choir at the convention. There are three local preview concerts planned leading to a school sendoff Feb. 7.


Harker Heights junior Jaedon Trevino, a tenor 2, earned All-State choir honors for the first time.


“I’m absolutely proud of myself,” he said. “The hard work and effort paid off. It’s the greatest feeling to know I did this well. It’s amazing.”


Sophomore Benjamin Saban Contreras made the Tenor-Bass Choir a year ago, earning fifth chair as a freshman. This year, he improved to second chair in the top Mixed Choir.


He said he worked a lot on technique to use his voice to its full potential. “I was in disbelief,” he said of finding out how high he finished.

HHHS All-State Choir


Senior Mattais Fragoso, a baritone made the All-State Choir as a freshman, didn’t make it as a sophomore, barely missed the cut as first alternate last year and this year, earned first chair in the Mixed Choir.


Both Fragoso and Bryan said the sightreading portion of the audition was far more difficult than usual and the two Harker Heights seniors said they benefited from the more challenging music.


The regular audition music, they said, was less challenging than in past years, but the more difficult sightreading portion made up for it.


“I did a lot of detail work,” said Fragoso. “I wanted to tell a story with the music. It’s not just about notes. It’s about conveying the work of the composer.”


“It was very important to me,” he said. “It was my redemption year.”


See the following feature highlighting this year’s pair of Chaparral High All-State choir members: