The Abilene Independent School District secondary music organizations maintain the highest standards of excellence in music education. Hundreds of students participate in the bands, choirs and orchestras of all four middle schools as well as both Abilene High School and Cooper High School. The choirs of AISD are well-known for their high performance levels and traditions of excellence. All AISD high school band, choir and orchestra programs boast years of University Interscholastic League (UIL) Division I ratings. In addition, many students from these programs have been selected over the years for the prestigious Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State organizations.
The choir program begins in the sixth grade. These students are enrolled in choir classes which meet daily, building on the fundamental musical skills learned in the elementary music program. Students also learn the technical vocal skills necessary to perform in their choral ensembles.
Each middle school campus has a full-time choral director who teaches multiple ensembles including sixth grade choirs, treble choirs and tenor-bass choirs. Students are placed into leveled ensembles based on their overall musical and vocal skills. The choirs perform a minimum of three concerts each year. Varsity choirs compete in the Region 16 UIL Concert/Sightreading contest each spring. Seventh and eighth grade students may choose to compete in the TMEA Region 16 South Zone Honor Choir audition and district-sponsored Solo/Ensemble events.
Both high school campuses have a full-time choral director and assistant choral director who teach multiple ensembles including mixed choirs, treble choirs and tenor-bass choirs. In the fall semester, choir students may choose to compete individually in the TMEA Region 16 All-Region Choir auditions. Both high schools have placed numerous students in the TMEA All-State Choirs.
In the spring semester, high school choir students may choose to compete in the Region 16 UIL Solo/Ensemble contest. The high school choirs enter multiple organizations in the Region 16 UIL Concert/Sightreading contest, held each year at the Abilene Civic Center. Both high schools boast years of UIL Division 1 ratings in Mixed Chorus, Treble Chorus and Tenor-Bass Chorus.
There are multiple performing groups at each campus that accommodate varying degrees of musical expertise from the beginner to junior varsity to college preparatory level. Pure Gold (comprised of AHS choir students) and Red Rhythm & Blues (comprised of CHS choir students) entertain audiences for numerous civic and school functions.
AISD choir tours have included trips to Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston as well as international tours of Italy, Austria and England.
AISD choral programs strive to teach more than music, training leaders and motivating students to achieve personal success in all aspects of life.
A Supplemental Music Lesson Program is available to students who wish to enhance their vocal or instrumental skills through individualized instruction with a private music instructor. The campus director can assist students and parents in arranging for such lessons before, during or after the school day.
For further information, please contact any of the choir, band or orchestra directors listed on the staff page, or the fine arts office at (325) 677-1444, ext. 1153.