The Woodlands High School Choir receives distinguished honor

By: Carole Maynard, president
| Published 02/21/2024

Photos Credit: Chip Gillespie

THE WOODLANDS, TX -- When Patrick Newcomb, director of choirs at The Woodlands High School, received word that TWHS Chamber Choir had been selected to perform at the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association (SWACDA) convention in Denver, he could not wait to share the exciting news with his students.

“To be selected to perform at the SWACDA convention is a testament to the outstanding quality of music-making our choral program has consistently demonstrated,” Newcomb says.

As part of the southwest regional division of the national American Choral Directors Association, Texas is joined by Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

The application process to be a featured choir at the convention is a rigorous one that includes submitted recordings of the choir’s work from the last two years. All submissions are then blind scored by a committee, and choirs with the highest scores are invited to give a concert at the convention.

“Excellent choirs from all seven states apply in hopes their choir might be selected to perform,” Newcomb says. “This year 16 choirs were selected. Of those 16, only nine were high school choirs and only four of those were chamber choirs.”

TWHS Chamber Choir is a small, highly selective mixed choir. All members of TWHS Chamber Choir are also members of Varsity Mixed, Treble and Men’s Choirs. The audition process for the ensemble is rigorous and includes sightreading. The ensemble meets every other day as a class and typically once a week after school. The objective of the group is to prepare and perform music that is suitable for a chamber choir from all musical time periods.

TWHS Chamber Choir has won many Best in Class and Overall Outstanding awards at festivals throughout Texas. Past honors include winning first place at the 2018 American Classics Madrigal Festival in San Antonio and being selected to sing at the 100th anniversary of TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) in 2020.

Newcomb could not be prouder of this group of students, and he hopes this experience is one his students won’t soon forget. “I am privileged to work with some of the most hardworking, dedicated students around. More than that, they are some of the most wonderful, kindhearted people anyone could hope to meet. I hope this SWACDA performance gives them a memorable experience that they can take with them when they leave TWHS.”

The choir began rehearsing the six selections for the SWACDA concert in August 2023. They depart for Denver on February 27 and will perform their concert at the Denver Performing Arts Center Buell Theatre on Wednesday, February 28. The trip is sponsored by a generous donation from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion as well as support from TWHS Choir Booster Club and family and friends of TWHS Choir.

For more information about TWHS Choir, visit

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