Ardi Saunders sings her way to the top (with video)

Maggie Theel, Staff Writer

Seven extraordinary singers from Coppell High School made the 2016 Texas All-State choir – one of them is only a sophomore.


Ardi Saunders has been in choir for five years and she is currently in Kantorei, the varsity women’s choir at CHS. For her, choir is more than just a class – singing is a passion.


“The best part of singing in choir is being able to hear yourself be beautiful,” Saunders said.

The best part of singing in choir is being able to hear yourself be beautiful.

— Ardi Saunders


More than 16,000 students from all over Texas audition and compete to be in the top three percent of singers selected. Making the All-State choir is an amazing achievement that is even more difficult to accomplish as an underclassman.


“Making one of the All-State Choirs is the highest honor a singer can receive,” CHS choir director Joshua Brown said. “[For sophomores], there is a lack of experience that can work against the student. Additionally, older students have an advantage in that they typically have more mature voices and better technique.”



Saunders has participated in choir and musical theater for many years. Her talent and hard work have often been recognized and encouraged by her teachers, peers and family.


“Ardi has always been super talented, but she’s completely blossomed this year,” Saunders’ sister and New Tech High@Coppell senior Lillie Saunders said. “She’s always working hard in cross country and school as well [as choir], and she’s constantly reminding me that hard work really does pay off. I’m so proud of her for everything she’s done this year.”


Saunders went through a rigorous audition process that lasted over the course of several months. There are four rounds of auditions, and the preparation took a lot of time and hard work. Saunders practiced for about 40 minutes every day and worked with either Brown or the assistant choir director Casey Carruth, twice a week, and they know how hard she has worked.


“Ardi is an exceptionally hard working student, and this is certainly the secret to her success,” Brown said. “While there is no doubt she has an exceptional instrument, the work she has put into practicing over a long period of time has allowed to achieve this level of success.”


Although she worked incredibly hard, Saunders understood the competitiveness needed to make the All-State choir and she was admittedly surprised by this level of success.


“It was really weird when I found out [that I was selected for the All-State choir],” Saunders said. “It didn’t seem real that everything I’d done was over, and it actually paid off.”


Having already achieved the highest honor a high school singer can receive, one thing is certain: Saunders’ success has just begun.