Southside and Northside High School choral musicians earned six of the eight Best in Class awards presented at the 2011 Arkansas Choral Festival. The
annual event is the only opportunity that choral musicians have to compete for
statewide, first-place acclaim.
The four Southside High School choirs under the direction of Gaye McClure
were evaluated as the best in class in four of the eight categories. Mixed
Chorus and Johnny Rebs tied for first place in the Mixed Chorus 7A Division.
Since only one group can receive the Best in Class award, the judges break tied
performances based on the difficulty of the literature. The judges
awarded the 7A Mixed Chorus Best in Class Award to SHS Mixed Chorus. SHS Male
Chorus received Best in Class for 7A Male Choruses, and SHS Female Chorus
received Best in Class for 7A Female Choruses. Then those two groups tied for
the Overall Large Group Best in Class. The judges broke the tie based on
literature and awarded the honor to the SHS Female Chorus. The four Southside Choirs,
Mixed Chorus, Men’s Chorus, Female Chorus and the Johnny Rebs, earned Division
I (Superior) ratings from each of the three judges.
Northside High School N’Sound under the direction of Bill Cromer received the
Best in Class for Small Mixed Ensembles, and for the Overall Ensemble.
Ensembles are defined as having 18 or fewer voices performing in the group.
The success of the Northside
and Southside High School Choral music programs are the result of the hard work
and instruction that takes place in elementary music programs and in the
collaborative work of choral music directors at all levels. Gaye McClure, Dennis Burton,
Chaffin Junior High School, and Keith Reeves, Ramsey Junior High School work
with the choral music students from seventh grade forward, as do Bill Cromer,
Jerry Vincent, Kimmons Junior High School, and Darby Junior High School’s J.R.