It started some weeks ago when Suzanna let her band/choir director know that she was interested in performing. He registered her for the festival and lent her some music to peruse, and she chose a vocal solo from one of his books. From that point on, it was up to Susan and me to help Suzanna rehearse and get the song in good shape for the festival. (I served as her rehearsal accompanist and played piano for her performance today, too.)
Abigail's band/choir director did not intend to participate in the event, so Abigail would have been out of luck had her older sister not been involved. Suzanna's teacher offered to register Abigail as though she were his own student (although the girls are at two different schools), which allowed Abigail and Suzanna to sing a duet. They chose a song with which they were both very familiar, each of them having sung it for choral performances in past months. [Abigail sang it when participating in Surround the State in Song last October, and it was one of Suzanna's songs when participating in the all-state honor choir in February.] (And, again, I accompanied them on piano.)
We were very proud of the girls' singing. Their vocal quality and overall performance techniques stood in stark contrast to those of the people who sang before and after them. Suzanna's teacher should have received the judge's comments and ought to be able to share them with her at school tomorrow, so we're all looking forward to reading those when the girls get home from school.
P.S. The batteries in the video camera died midway through Suzanna's solo, but you will hear enough in the clip below to get a good idea what Suzanna sounded like while performing.
"When I Close My Eyes" by Jim Papoulis
"Leave No Song Unsung" by Linda Spevacek-Avery