After hours of practice, Braden Herring, a senior at Palestine High School, has earned the privilege of auditioning for the All State Choir in January.

The road to this audition started months ago with many try-outs and auditions.

Herring, 18, sang his way into the All-Region choir making fifth chair, which qualified him for the area auditions, a selection process for the all-state auditions.

During the area auditions he earned third chair and a chance to audition for the All State Choir.

“From the region auditions only the top 18 get to try out for area and from that audition they only take the top five to audition for state,” Herring said. “It made me proud to make the choir, and I am the only one this year to make it this far.”

The state auditions will select the top eight students from this area to perform in the two choirs.

The top four chairs will sing in the mixed chorus and the next four chairs will sing in the men’s chorus.

Practicing three hours a day is what Herring believes got him this far and strengthened his discipline.

Most of his practice time is on his own, at his own choosing.

“I will come in for help on learning the languages, but I work on the rhythms and other things on my own,” he said.

After working on the music, he explained, he would come in and work with his choir director, Sam Odom, for the final touches.

“He is one of the better bass voices I have,” Odom said. “I am really proud of him and his dedication.”

Odom said his discipline is amazing.

“He can cut up with the best of them, but when it is time to work he is extremely focused,” he said.

This, for Odom, is a good start of rebuilding the choir program back to its former glory.

“Palestine has always had a strong tradition of a strong choral program,” he said pointing to past sweepstakes trophies in the room. “It is time we get that tradition back.”

As for his students, he lets them express their love for music in their own special way.

“I have a passion for singing,” Herring said. “I love singing for other people and cheering them up.”

Herring said he is always singing, even when he is working at his part-time job at Brookshire’s Food Store.

Herring came by his talent naturally. His grandfather was the music minister at Southside Baptist Church for several years and his mother was a member of the PHS choir.

“Singing for me is a way of expressing myself,” Herring said.

Herring said he started choir in the sixth grade as a way to follow in his older sister’s foot steps.

“Sometimes people like to sing and do not realize how much fun choir is until they try it,” Herring said. “I really enjoy the atmosphere, the people I sing with are great and we have so much in common.”

Herring will perform in the All Region Choir at 7 p.m. Saturday at UT Tyler.

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