45 WHS Students to Participate in the 2014 All-State Music Festival
Twenty-seven chorus members, eleven band members and seven alternates from Waukee High School (WHS) and Prairieview were selected to participate in the 2014 Iowa All-State Music Festival.
Being selected as a member of the All-State Music Festival (band, chorus or orchestra) is the highest individual honor available to Iowa high school musicians. District Auditions for the 281-piece All-State Band, 201-piece All-State Orchestra and 601-member All-State Chorus were held October 25 at Storm Lake, Hampton, Manchester, Harlan, Indianola and Washington. Approximately 17% of the students who audition are selected for membership in the All-State ensembles.
Amy Hall, Director of Vocal Music at WHS, says “The All State Music Festival is a time-honored tradition in the state of Iowa for high school musicians. Those fortunate enough to be selected have an opportunity to work with some of the best choral and instrumental conductors in the United States. Additionally, they share in a high-level musical experience with young people that value the vocal, instrumental and orchestral arts.”
According to senior Bre Poage, there is “no feeling as a singer that can make you feel more accomplished than making All-State Chorus.” Chorus students at Waukee are like family and the WHS music hallway is their second home. The quartets practice three times a week with one of the vocal instructors. In addition to practice, the students bond by watching movies and spending time together outside of school.
Junior Jason Wells, who has made All-State Chorus for two years now, says that “making All-State was a very exhilarating experience; it is very nerve-racking both before and after auditions but in the end we were very successful as a school and that is extremely satisfying.” Jason has become a much better musician through this experience. He plans to go to Wartburg College, where he wants to continue singing in a chorus and enjoying the scholarship that he was given as a result of making All-State.
Jeff Patterson, Band Director at WHS, says that “The Iowa All State Band and Orchestra are comprised of high school musicians, who through a very competitive audition process, were selected as the most outstanding instrumentalists in the state of Iowa. Waukee had eleven students selected for the Band or Orchestra, and seven students selected as alternates. We have never had so many students achieve this honor before.”
Senior Emma Georgeff was both “relieved and happy” when she earned a spot in the All-State Band. Although Georgeff was worried she might not have made it because there was one less spot available for percussion players this year, it turns out she had nothing to worry about. She does not plan on studying music in college but is open to playing in an ensemble or band for fun. She thinks that “the All-State material is definitely a lot to conquer. Those who try out have to be mentally prepared for the commitment. It is very easy to fall behind schedule and not be ready for the tryout.”
Senior Erika Lewis, a clarinet player, has made All-State band for four years. She states that “the day of auditions is really stressful and all anyone can really do after playing is pace around. Freshman year, I was super excited when the results were announced and I saw that I had made it. The last three years, I felt more relief because I wanted to be a four-year All-Stater so badly.” All-State has “definitely made me appreciate music more and has made me such a better player.”
Participants will rehearse in Ames on November 21 and 22. The Festival Concert is on November 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University.