LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Philip Callaway, a junior at Lufkin High School, remembered clearly the moment when he found out that he'd be singing, in the Texas All-State Tenor-Bass Choir.
"They called my name, and I was just like crying," Callaway said.
The All-State concerts take the best singers, as well as musicians, from a competing class of close to 70,000 students in Texas.
"I could only think about how much Mrs. Hoelewyn helped me because, if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't know what to do," Callaway said. "I would have not even have made Region."
The four choirs will make up just over two percent of those who auditioned, a small margin, one which Callaway's teacher, Laura Hoelewyn says he's worked hard to make.
"I was extremely happy that he made it, but I wasn't exactly surprised," Hoelewyn said. "I really felt like he had a very good chance of making it this year. He's been focused on this for two years, actually. He came very close last year."
Preparing for the competition included learning a small selection of music, as well as fine-tuning vocals.
"I put pressure behind my voice, I did dynamics, you know, vibrato," Callaway said.
The choir practices over a period of three days, February 15-17, with nationally recognized directors.
"They're the best directors; that's why they're picked," Callaway said. "They're going to be the best people there and the most talented kids there. So, you can grow off of their talent."
For these singers, the variety in direction will be appreciated.
"To get to work with somebody else who has a slightly different value system, as far as what they're going to stress in the music, it's extremely valuable," Hoelewyn said.
The choir will be performing at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio on February 17 at 5:30 p.m.