By Joseph Nemec
Four students from the choir recently received
the distinction of joining the Texas Private
School Musical Educators Association
(TPSMEA) State Choir. Seniors William
Wheeler and Montgomery Cloud and juniors
Wayne Babineaux and Joe Coleman all were
accepted based upon individual singing
Only Wheeler returns this year from All-State
last year. Babineaux advanced to All-Region
last year however did not make it to All-State.
In addition to being in All-State, all four are also members of this year’s TPSMEA regional choir,
along with junior Travis Carroll.
The process began when students made recordings of songs to be performed with the All-State choir.
The recordings were submitted and then judged by choir directors from all over the state. The best 40
singers in each of the four vocal parts from the Houston area were selected for the All-Region choir.
All-Region members were then judged again, with only 160 singers being accepted to the prestigious
All-State. Only a half of the vocal parts of the choir are male.
The pieces, one a Scottish love ballad, the other a Hebrew chant, were meant to be good judges of a
performer’s singing ability.
“There were certain nuances that were challenging and some of it was a little bit rhythmically
complex but nothing too difficult to grasp,” Carroll said.
Students had to overcome the language barrier that comes with singing in another language. It not
always easy to overcome however
This represent a major achievement for the St. Thomas Singers. The large number of students this
year is very unusual. Over the past couple years, the choir has grown in size. This increase was in part
to the outstanding reputation the past choir students have given the program, as well as their hard
work and dedication to the program.
“It’s really impressive because we have a very small choir and so many people made it into state,”
Babineaux said. “For all the time I’ve been here there’s never been four.”
Josh Wilson hopes to see an equal amount, if not more singers who make state, in the coming years.
Josh Wilson is cited by many members as a reason for success.
“Definitely, we would review the music every day in class… he definitely set us on the right path,” said
Wilson. Wilson also mentions that the ability to sing well is not just about talent; actually being able
to hone the skill of singing can take several years.
Part of the aim of the choir is to help students hone their skills. Wilson hopes that the choir
challenges their abilities and helps them become a better singer.
Choir members are optimistic about the choir’s future.
“I definitely think that the choir is growing and is getting better and better each year,” Babineaux
Babineaux mentions that as the choir grows and practices together it will only increase the unity and
ability of the entire choir.
The choir program has received many excellent vocalist over the past years, and hopes to continue to
receive excellent singers from the upcoming freshman classes.
Though choir competition is raising across the state, the choir has a bright future and it is only
looking better as the year goes on.