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All-State Auditions: The Choir Student Perspective

Now that All-State has happened, see the audition process that the performers went through last month told by Karen West.

Karen West is a Senior here at MHS and is very involved in the school’s choir program, even auditioning for All-State this year along with many more of her classmates. She finds that even though it is her first year auditioning, it was a great experience that she will always remember and reflect well on. 

To start the journey of auditioning, choir members first need to make the decision in the first place. Usually this is prompted by a recommendation to partake by one of the choir directors, Mrs. Burford. Students know that the choir teachers always hold their student’s best-interest at heart.  

Karen said, “[Mrs. Burford] knows most of the choir’s voices and she can really tell who is ready to go through the process.”

The selection of students can definitely be a difficult decision because one needs to be prepared to work especially hard on the music, and they must perform for multiple months. Karen received her music in August and her audition took place near the end of October, so seemingly a lot of time for rehearsal. 

“It takes the entire time to really become completely confident but it doesn’t take the entire time to become prepared,” said Karen. 

With all of the stress of auditions, the group also makes sure to incorporate some fun bonding activities in preparation for the long day in Washington, Iowa. Some of the main activities would be the dinner that takes place at Mrs. Burford’s house the day before.

The group of students auditioning for All-State having fun before the big day

Karen shared one of her favorite memories of this year was when, “All of the choir All-Stater’s meet at Mrs.Burford’s house and eat and then we ended up singing our pieces. It felt surreal and it was just a nice way to go into the auditions the next day.”

The day of auditions starts at 5 a.m. when the group comes together to share a moment once the music cuts are released, the part of the whole piece they have been practicing that they must actually sing during their audition. At 6 a.m. they meet at the high school to hang out until they must leave and head towards Washington to arrive around 8 a.m.

“Auditions start at 9 am, but mine was at 10:10 so we waited for that and we went into our audition. After the audition I ate and waited some more,” explained Karen. 

Karen West and her friend Lexi Taylor showing their acceptance to All-State.

A lot of the day is spent anticipating the next part of the process which can be stressful, but being with a group definitely seems to help with that. The next part of the day is recall auditions. After the first audition, people are cut from the list and people who have a chance at making All-State are called back in to have a second audition. 

Having to play the waiting game again, Karen recalled her experience by saying, “I believe [recall auditions] started at 2:20 give or take and mine was at around 2:45. We then waited more, somehow I took a nap because usually the lists come out altogether but the list ended up coming out at 4:45 and that’s when I found out I made it in!”

Through Karen’s experience of auditioning for All-State it seems that it is a lot of hard work, but the time a student works on it all turns out to be worth it no matter the results. At the end of the day, overall everything went well and she, along with her other senior classmates, will reflect well on the memories they made.

“Yes, making it in does satisfy me. But, I believe that watching my peers grow into their voices and watching them grow is much more satisfying. I am so insanely proud of everyone’s work because truthfully, we all worked so hard,” noted Karen.

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About the Contributor
Arabella Fourneau
Arabella Fourneau is a sophomore here at MHS and a first-year staff writer for the newspaper. She is very passionate about her grades and challenging herself academically. She also enjoys being a part of the orchestra, playing the cello, and enjoying the fun break it gives her during the day.
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    Mrs. KeitelNov 30, 2023 at 9:49 am

    Nice article, Arabella! Making All-State is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations to all who made it. I have watched the concert on PBS in the past and hope to catch this year’s as well. Always impressive! So much talent!