Choirs from Hermosa, Tibbetts middle schools also competed


FARMINGTON — Farmington Municipal School District choir groups brought home two first-place prizes from the New Mexico Activities Association after the state choir contest in Rio Rancho last weekend.

Fine arts coordinator Daniel Fear said the Farmington and Piedra Vista high school choirs brought home two championship trophies at the end of the two-day competition on April 13-14 at Sue V. Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. The Hermosa and Tibbetts middle school choirs also competed in the state competition.

Farmington High School’s Poison Ivy choir took first place in the 6A treble choir division, according to Fear. The choir, led by Laura Argotsinger, performed “Cantate Domino” by Rupert Lang; the Czech folk song “Jede Sedlak” arranged by Jaroslav Krcek; and Aaron Copland's “Zion’s Walls," arranged by Glen Koponen, according to information from the NMAA.

Argotsinger said the winning choir is made up of 16 students from different classes, and the group met outside of school, including a trip to the Hummingbird Music Camp in Jemez Springs, to prepare for the competition.

“This first-place trophy is the first in FHS' choral history from the NMAA State Competition,” Argotsinger stated in an email. “We're very proud of this achievement.”

Piedra Vista High School’s PVC Pipes concert choir took first place in the 6A concert choir division, Fear said. The choir, led by Virginia Nickels-Hircock, performed “Exultate Justi in Domino” by Viadana and Moore; “Muusika” by Part Uusberg; and Aaron Copland’s “Ching-A-Ring-Chaw” arranged by Irving Fine, according to the NMAA.

Nickels-Hircock said the winning choir was made up of 48 students from the school's concert choir and chamber choir classes. This was the school’s ninth first-place choir trophy, Nickels-Hircock said, but its first in the 6A category.

Hermosa Middle School’s Matadors and Tibbets Middle School’s mixed choir also competed in the state competition, Fear said. Hermosa took fifth place, and Tibbetts took ninth place in the middle school choir category, according to the NMAA.

The Matadors, led by Petra Lyon, performed the Teddy Kalanda Harrison song “Jambo” arranged by Jacob Narverud; the American folk song “The Cuckoo” arranged by Robert Hugh; and Jim Papoulis’ “Stand Together,” according to the NMAA.

Tibbett’s mixed choir, led by Shera Jemmett, performed “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot; “Adoramus Te” by Terre McPheeters; and “The Clouds” by Cynthia Gray, according to the NMAA.

Nine middle school choirs competed in the middle school division, according to NMAA results.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or

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