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Real boys don't sing high.

Bedford, Texas, high school senior Mikhael Rawls has earned several distinctions for his singing ability, including first place in the University Interscholastic League's competition for two consecutive years. But when music college recruiters come to his school next year, they won't hear Rawls's soaring vocals.

That's because Rawls, 17, is a natural soprano, and the Texas Music Educators Association prohibits boys from singing in that range. So he can't join the all-state choir. The music association is rejecting Rawls "not because he doesn't sing well," says Riki Wilchins, executive director for the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition. "It's because he is a boy."

The association began prohibiting boys from singing alto or soprano and girls from singing tenor or bass about two years ago. Rawls, who sings an octave and a half higher than most boys his age, said he was "strongly disappointed" with the decision but still plans to pursue a college degree in vocal performance.
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Title Annotation:ONLY IN TEXAS
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Aug 30, 2005
Previous Article:James Matthew Bass.
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