Members of the Piedra Vista Choir rehearse the song ÒFreeze FrameÓ for their upcoming show ÒShindigÓ at the Turano-Chrisman Performing Arts Theater.
Members of the Piedra Vista Choir rehearse the song ÒFreeze FrameÓ for their upcoming show ÒShindigÓ at the Turano-Chrisman Performing Arts Theater. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)
FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista High School choir has again claimed the state champion title, extending its winning streak to six years.

The New Mexico Activities Association has been hosting state choir competitions since they were created six years ago, so the school's mixed choir is the undisputed champion in Class 4A.

"We don't mean to (win it every year) but I don't mind ... I just want us to be proud of what we're doing," Choir instructor Virginia Nickels-Hircock said. "I got good kids to work with and they enjoy working hard."

The road to state started in March with a district level competition, where the four Piedra Vista choir classes performed and received superior ratings.

During the NMAA state choir contest held at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho on April 19 and 20, the school's "PVC Pipes Mixed Choir" beat out second place Deming High School to keep their winning streak alive.

Since returning from Spring Break at the end of March, the choir has been working on practicing and refining the three songs they performed at the state contest while laying the groundwork for their annual spring concert called "Shindig."

"Shindig" brings a reprise of the students' formal song performances at the state contest, which include a wide variety of contemporary song and dance.

"They not only have to learn the songs, they have to learn the dance and placement on stage," Nickels-Hircock said. "It's a bit of a crunch."

Nickels-Hircock said a wide variety of music from artists and groups such as the J. Giels Band, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, Taio Cruz and Owl City will be featured along with a medley from the "The Sound of Music," a 1960s musical.

Rehearsal time is short as more than 90 students from the choir program will perform "Shindig" for the public at the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Center Friday and Saturday night but have not been able to practice on the college stage until tonight.
Members of the Piedra Vista choir rehearse for their upcoming show ÒShindig,Ó on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at the Turano-Chrisman Performing Arts Theater.
Members of the Piedra Vista choir rehearse for their upcoming show ÒShindig,Ó on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at the Turano-Chrisman Performing Arts Theater. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)
The students have been practicing at the Turano-Chrisman Performing Arts Theater.

During one of the rehearsals Tuesday morning, a group of male students practiced a section of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones. The group was still figuring out the placement on stage and timing while singing the classic rock song.

"These guys, even though they (sing) together every day, this group has never done choreography together," Nickels-Hircock said. "It's a new thing to them."

Freshman Dallin James said it's been hard work rehearsing for both the state contest and "Shindig" at the same time but said is has been worth it.

"It's really awesome, all the songs that we are doing and the things that I've learned doing Shindig,'" James said. "It's a great thing and it's awesome to share music with the community.

Senior Cecil Garrison described the four years he spent in choir as a journey and a challenge, saying it was absolutely worth the work.

"With the way we sing, it's not just learning music and performing it at a high level, we manage to impart a part of ourselves into it," Garrison said. "We have to invest ourselves in the piece emotionally and mentally to achieve what we want to do."

Nickels-Hircock said the show comes together during the last three days before their first performance, adding she loves to see her students perform on stage.

"(I feel) pride, joy. I'll cry if I start talking about it," Nickels-Hircock said. "It just takes so much to get them to where you want them to be then they get up there and do it right, it's wonderful."

Joshua Kellogg can be reached at jkellogg@daily-times.com; 505-564-4627. Follow him on Twitter @JKelloggDT