The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

Seniors shine in performing arts

Seniors Miller Wendorf, in orchestra, and Winston Miller, in choir, have now achieved all-state recognition for all four years of their high school career.
Senior+Winston+Miller+performs+a+solo+for+the+school+choir.+
Courtesy Donna Donnell
Senior Winston Miller performs a solo for the school choir.
It is rare for two students to achieve so much in the Fine Arts Department.
Even though the choir and orchestra programs are some of the most decorated in the school, two students’ accomplishments stand out above the rest.
Seniors Winston Miller and Miller Wendorf recently achieved all-state recognition in their respective fine arts: choir and orchestra. These awards add on to their already impressive resume, as the two are also members of the Fine Arts Board and are avid performers in a variety of different productions and groups.
But their accomplishments did not come easy; the awards are proof of the hard work they have put in year in and year out, starting from a young age.
Miller was first introduced to singing 1,000 miles away in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, where his mom enrolled him in a small private school. As the son of the school’s Music Department Chair, he was constantly immersed in the world of the performing arts and quickly developed a passion for singing.
“My parents encouraged me to join choirs, whether they be in church, school or other places like that,” Miller said. “When I came to St. Mark’s, I very much had the choir in mind.”
As Miller’s family relocated and settled in Dallas during his time in middle school, he began to see choir not just as a performing art but also as a way to connect with others. The close relationships Miller would form and the skills he would gain working in coordination with other choir members were essential to how he approached school and his life.
“Choir taught me that whether it’s through a sport, a club or an extracurricular it’s important to have a community,” Miller said. “You’re a huge group trying to perform the same piece of music. It’s not always good to be by yourself and do things alone.”
Wendorf followed a similar path. He picked up the cello as a fourth grader at an international school in Switzerland, and from there, his love for the instrument soared. However, his passion did not automatically translate to skill. Instead, Wendorf credits consistency and hard work as the driving factor behind his achievements.
“It’s the years of practice that led me to get to the level where I could do all-state in ninth grade,” Wendorf said.
But individual success doesn’t translate to the success of an entire orchestra, either. Through years of experience, Wendorf, like Miller, soon discovered what makes a polished orchestra: the ability to swallow your pride and perform as a group.
“The experience of playing in an orchestra teaches you a lot about communication because you’re just one cog in a much larger machine,” Wendorf said. “You can’t have an ego and play… it’s kind of a humility-inducing experience.”
The years of dedication and consistency Miller and Wendorf have both shown are not going unnoticed. They have received numerous accolades, including most recently the fourth of four consecutive years of all-state honors. For Miller, the awards do much more than recognize his own success, as he believes they also recognize the hard work of his parents.
“The awards are a testament to the dedication and provisions of my parents,” Miller said. “They had a steady and constant push for me to keep choir in my life. When I was brought up on stage for being a four-year all-state chorister, I couldn’t really think of any other reason why I was there besides my parents,” Miller said.
However, the thing they both have enjoyed the most hasn’t been the acclaim; it was the experience of performing at all-state itself.
“The concerts themselves have been some of the most rewarding musical experiences that I’ve ever had,” Wendorf said.
Even beyond the choir and orchestra, both Miller and Wendorf have had a lasting impact as avid performers in SMAcapella, in the school’s Drama productions and at its Coffee House. Most recently, they sang as a duet in this September’s Coffee House, reprising their performance from March of last year.
“Miller and I were able to sing not one, but two songs for Coffee House,” Miller said. “It’s one of my favorite memories. Singing with somebody you’ve been performing with for years and you’ve known for years is very wholesome and fulfilling.”
Wendorf shared the same sense of fulfillment looking back at his moments performing with Miller.
“I feel like our hard work is paying off at the same time,” Wendorf said. “We’ve both worked really hard for this.”
As the two seniors grow into the next stage of their lives, they face the question of how to further pursue their musical endeavors. But no matter where they might end up, they both plan to continue living out their passions.
“It’s hard not to love choir,” Miller said. “I don’t think I could manage college without music in some form or capacity.”
And although the future is uncertain, their experiences performing at the school will stick with them far after they leave.
“I’m not sure what it will look like, to be honest,” Wendorf said. “But I’ll miss being able to do it all like I have here.”
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Joshua Goforth, Staff Writer
William Kozoman, Staff Writer