Being in two places at one time is a trick usually reserved for a magic show, but a Truman High School senior managed to pull it off March 7.
When Davielle Swinson-Spears found out that the basketball district championship game would be happening at the same time as her solo and ensemble competition at the district music festival, she wasn’t sure what would happen.
She had known the dates of the singing competition for a while, but she didn’t know until her team won a game on March 4 that they would be playing that Saturday.
“I was really scared, but basically I had to go back and forth from each one,” Davielle said. “I rode the bus from Truman to Lee’s Summit West. After my solo, my mom took me to my game at 5:30 p.m. At halftime, I left to go to my group (for a 6:39 performance), then made it back to the game for last 30 seconds.”
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It was a tricky situation for everyone.
“I knew it was going to be tough. When you’re singing in ensembles at that level, there are strict rules,” said Truman music teacher Kim Evans. “Unlike the basketball team, I don’t have substitutes. I had to have the kids I submitted (ahead of time).”
Just getting to and from everywhere at the right times was a big challenge, but it turned out fine.
“It was actually pretty comical the whole time, just running back and forth. At the time it wasn’t funny, but when you look back, it was… I think everybody was just excited I made it. They didn’t care how I did it,” Davielle said.
“That night, I just kind of knew there were a lot of people who were depending on me. I knew I couldn’t let anybody down.”
Evans said 17-year-old Davielle’s efforts certainly paid off for the music students.
“Her group made it to state, and without her, that wouldn’t have happened,” Evans said. “As a student … you’re constantly practicing and trying to be in three or four places at one time … We get some of the kids who want to do everything but commit to nothing. There’s a small fraction (like Davielle) that do everything and really commit.”
Back at the basketball game, coach Steve Cassity took some of the pressure off of Davielle.
“I was concerned about having her on the floor and her needing to leave. I elected not to put her in the game, (but) she’s a fine player,” he said. “She’s a great kid to coach. She doesn’t get the attention a lot of kids get in terms of scoring average, (but) she dives on the floor for loose balls, and she hustles.
“She does a lot of the unrecognized, unnoticed things on the floor that make us successful.”
Still, Davielle spent the first half of the game supporting her team, and at the end, she was there when the buzzer rang, and the girls of Truman’s team became district champions.
“We won against Chrisman, our rival team, 39 to 42. I wanted to hold up our title with my team,” Davielle said.
The team lost in the sectional game that followed, but Davielle’s high school athletic career isn’t over yet. She also throws shot-put for the track team.
The state choral finals are still coming up, too, on May 1 in Columbia.
“I told my mom, ‘Let’s hope there’s no track meet on May 1,’” Davielle said. “It’s not going to work.”