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Grace Shafer, a junior at New Braunfels High School, has been named a UIL State Outstanding Performer based on her choral performance last June at the UIL State Solo & Ensemble Competition.
UIL only recognizes 2-percent to 3-percent of the top participants as an Outstanding Performer and awards them with a draped medal that is identical to those awarded to state champions in all UIL events. Each year, the UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest features more than 25,000 young musicians vying for a 1st Division rating at the regional level and state level of competition.
When asked about how she felt when her Choir Director, Caitlyn Gallegos, told her about this award she said, “I was over the moon! It feels really awesome to get recognition for something you work so hard for.”
For her audition, she sang a piece called “Nur Wer Die Shensucht Kennt,” by Tchaikovsky. The song is a German piece that translates to “None but the lonely heart.”
She comes from German descent and shared that this award was extra special because of her grandpa, Poppa, who passed away a couple of months before she competed. She recalls telling him about the song while visiting him in the hospital, and did not expect him to know it. Right after she told him the name, he started singing it word for word. It was the last song he ever got to sing, and she will cherish it forever in her heart.
“One of my favorite things to do is perform,” said Shafer. “I enjoy this competition because it gives me the opportunity to perform pieces that I’m most passionate about. I look forward to what song is going to challenge me more.”
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