12 McAllen ISD students earn All-State in Choir

McAllen ISD had 12 students earn a spot on the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Choir following virtual auditions held January 16.

McAllen ISD’s All-State musician total is 18. Two students earned All-State in orchestra and four earned All-State in mariachi last fall.

“This is the highest number of All-State musicians in 15 years and the second most since before 1980,” McAllen ISD Fine Arts Director Jim Egger said. “Being named a TMEA Texas All-State musician is the pinnacle for a high school musician. We are very proud of all our students that competed over several rounds of auditions. 

This is the 42nd year in a row McAllen ISD had produced at least four students who earned All-State recognition in music.

Members of the 2020 TMEA Texas All-State Choir include:  

From McAllen High School:

  • Heather Gager – Soprano 1
  • Catherine Bynum – Soprano 2
  • Aria Shirah – Soprano 2
  • Evie Shirah – Alto 2
  • Tyler Warwas – Tenor 2 (First Chair)

From McAllen Memorial High School:

  • Itzel Fuentes – Soprano 1
  • Carla Reyes – Alto 1

From James “Nikki” Rowe High School:

  • Daniela Sanchez – Soprano 1
  • Dariana Munoz – Soprano 2
  • Dylan Moreno – Tenor 1 (First Chair)
  • James Richardson – Bass 1 (First Chair)
  • Oscar Humprey – Bass 1

Four students are repeat winners. Rowe’s Richardson and Moreno have earned this honor for the third consecutive year while McAllen High’s Gager and Warwas have made it two straight years.

Bynum is the first freshman from McAllen High to make All-State Choir in at least two decades according to McAllen High Choir Director Bo Shirah. 

“Special thanks goes to all the choir directors that make this possible along with the leadership of the three head choir directors – Bo Shirah of McAllen High, Omar Samaniego at Memorial High and Joshua Watkins at Rowe High,” Egger said. “McAllen ISD is blessed to have the finest choir educators around. Congratulations to our talented McAllen ISD high school choir students.”

In McAllen ISD, approximately 75 percent of secondary students (grades 6-12) are involved in fine arts programs. 

McAllen ISD has been named a national Best Community for Music Education for the past eight years by the National Association of Music Merchants.