Pratt High School senior David Mathes has been selected for the National Association for Music Education All-National Honor Choir.
When the best high school vocalists from across the United States gather in Orlando, Fla. for the National Association for Music Education All-National Honor Choir, a Pratt student will be in the group from Kansas.
David Mathes, a senior at Pratt High School, was selected to participate in the choir and will perform on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlan- do, Fla.
Mathes is in Pratt High Singers, Chamber Singers and Robed Choir. He played “Curly” in the PHS production of “Oklahoma” in September. Mathis will perform at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in the PHS Commons for the Broadway Dinner Theatre.
Mathes was one of 240 students chosen nation wide and one of only seven from Kansas. To qualify for the choir, students have to be chosen for their All-State Honor Choir, said PHS vocal music instructor Brandon Wade.
The selection process for the national choir began over a year ago. Mathis was selected for district and then state honor choir. Only high school sophomores and juniors can audition. Mathes said he and Wade had been considering auditioning for the national choir and decided “why not?”
Mathes discovered it to get into the national choir. He spent a lot of time working on his vocal quality and his audition song “Deep River.” He auditioned as a baritone but he also sings bass.
In the middle of summer, Mathes was playing golf when he got the message he had been selected. He said there was fist pumping involved when he found out he was in.
“It was surreal. I was one of 240 chosen in the nation,” Mathes said.
Mathes said the national choir will be an eye-opening experience. The skill level will be in- tense and he is excited to have the opportunity.
On a practical matter, Mathes will have an opportunity to make some important connections with colleges at the conference that may determine where he will attend school in the fall. He hasn’t decided where he wants to go to college or what he wants to do for a career but he is thinking about vocal performance. He’s also considering music education as a possible choice.
Mathes didn’t get involved with singing until he was in middle school. Before that, he had tried piano, violin and mandolin but he just couldn’t find something he enjoyed in music.
But in seventh grade he got involved in choir and he was pretty good. He enjoyed leading out when he was singing and discovered he had a natural gift. So he built on that. He had his first choir solo in eighth grade and that fixed his path in vocal music.
For six years, Mathes has worked with Wade on his music skills. Because of his class schedule, Mathes sees more of Wade than his own parents. Mathes said Wade is more than a teacher to him. He is a friend.
The NAFME conference in Orlando is from Nov. 25 to 28 with the choir performance on Nov. 27. USD 382 Board of Education approved some funding for this activity.