The sophomore run of the Humble ISD singing competition, the Humble Voice, has grown from last year, according to the district’s director of fine arts, Houston Hayes. The two-day competition was held at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center Jan. 10 and 11. Director of Community Development Jerri Monbaron revealed that 32 students auditioned this year. Those that auditioned were narrowed to 11 round-one finalists on the first evening. Round two was held the next evening, resulting in two winners, Emmee Licir of Kingwood Park High School and Sofia Plata of Summer Creek High School; Trent Condie of Kingwood High School was named as an alternate.

“I am simply overwhelmed and in awe of the extraordinarily talented students who came out to audition,” Hayes said. “This event has grown every year and we consistently have the most amazing students from every high school participate.”

Plata, freshman at SCHS, was congratulated on social media by the Summer Creek High School Choir of which she is a member as well as her old choir at Woodcreek Middle School who tweeted, “Our very own Sofia Plata is doing big things.”

After being announced as one of the winners, Licir was subsequently featured in the KP Times. The Kingwood Park senior, who has participated with the KPHS choir all four years of her high school career, described auditioning for the competition as “scary, but also exhilarating.”

According to Licir, she tried out for the competition’s debut in 2019, but did not progress to finalist. “Being able to see how far I’ve come is amazing,” Licir said, “because the hard work pays off when you want to gain success.”

Licir credits her mom for making her fall in love with music, saying, “It sounds crazy, but I fell in love with music even when I didn’t even exist yet. When my mom was pregnant, she would put headphones around her belly and I would listen to all different types of music from Mozart to Madonna. Even as a child I dreamed of being able to put on shows and sing my heart out for people.”

Licir spoke of plans to move to Los Angeles, Calif. or New York, N.Y. after graduation, where she desires to perform original songs and “share my music with the world.” In the meantime, she can be seen performing covers on her YouTube channel.

According to Monbaron, the competition began last year “to highlight the singing talents of our Humble ISD students and to give our students an opportunity to sing at a large event.” The winners will have the opportunity to perform during celebrity concerts at the 2020 Humble Rodeo being held Feb. 7-8 at the Humble Civic Center. Monbaron confirmed that the success of the competition has prompted the district to bring it back next year for another season.

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