Singing to the top: Hope Arrazola makes history at Abilene High

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene High School is known for excellence within its arts program, and one student has made school history in the choir. It’s an achievement that only one other Abilene ISD student has ever accomplished: singing in the Texas All-State Choir all four years of high school.

Abilene High Choir Director Wendy Weeks said she was astonished when she first heard it.

“When she began to sing that very first time, we knew that there was something incredibly special about this talent that had landed at Abilene High School,” Weeks said. “We were just in awe of the beauty and maturity of the sound that we were hearing.”

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The voice comes from senior Hope Arrazola, whose journey with music started in the fourth grade at Taylor Elementary.

Arrazola is now the first AHS student to be in the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Choir all four years of high school. However, she shared that she wasn’t sure what the all-state choir was when entering high school.

“I had no clue what I was doing. I had absolutely no idea. I just thought it was like middle school when you went in and auditioned for the region choir,” Arrazola said. “I almost didn’t audition because I had heard there were a lot of singers that were really good at Abilene High that didn’t make it.”

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After multiple rounds of auditions and more than 40,000 student participants, Arrazola successfully made it into the 280-person choir. However, her second year presented some challenges.

“I was diagnosed with muscle tension dysphonia with my voice, so I was feeling really sharp pains, and it hurt a lot to sing,” Arrazola explained. “My sophomore year, I was going through some difficulties learning the music because I had so much going on, and so I didn’t spend as much time with it.”

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Nevertheless, Arrazola belts her way through all challenges and insecurities, continuing to reach the bar she set for herself. She said the biggest part of her success was the support from her second family, her music teachers.

“Miss Weeks and Mr. Derek. I call them mom and dad because they’re really like second parents to me. I don’t know how I would have gotten through all of it without them pushing me, helping me through it, and giving me the confidence and courage to keep going,” Arrazola said.

After graduating in May, Arrazola plans to pursue a double major in music education and vocal performance at the University of North Texas.

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