EPHS student selected for second prestigious choir performance, fourth in three years
Elmwood Park High School student Roy Zuniga has been selected to perform at the Midwestern American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) this February. ACDA is a prestigious honors choir of which Zuniga has now been selected twice during his time at EPHS. He previously performed with ACDA when it was in Chicago in 2022.
“I get to meet back with some of the friends I made two years ago,” Zuniga said, expressing his excitement to return to ACDA.
Earlier this month, Zuniga performed at the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) along with band student Ethan Kendrick. Zuniga was also selected for that festival during his junior year.
When auditioning for ILMEA, Zuniga spent about a month practicing his music before submitting his application in late September. The application deadline for ACDA was similar, but he began rehearsing in early August, roughly one month before school even began.
“He came to me well prepared and knew right away at the start of the school that he wanted to audition,” said EPHS Choir Director Grant McEachern. “He'd been talking about it since last year, so I know it was important to him.”
Roy Zuniga looks at Choir Director Mr. Grant McEachern during class
McEachern says the two had just one rehearsal together and the rest of the time, Zuniga was working on his own.
For part of the application process, students were required to pick a song of their choice to sing. Zuniga said it was an incredibly challenging task to complete.
“I remember recording those and just sitting there for like two to three hours singing the same 30 seconds of a song until I got one [recording] that was decent,” Zuniga said.
Because the applications for both ACDA and ILMEA were due in late September, Zuniga had to work on songs for both applications in addition to preparing for an EPHS choir concert in mid-October as well as his other classwork and extracurricular activities.
“Roy has always pushed himself to be the best he can. His work ethic and focus are truly impressive, he makes my job as a teacher a lot more fun,” said McEachern.
Zuniga will perform in Omaha, Nebraska on February 10.