After enduring the long wait since their auditions, seven students have joined the 2013 All-State Chorus. The Florida Vocal Association released that the seven — Ian Chan, Connor Courtney, James G., Micah Howell, Lexie Krehbiel, Nithya Sheshadri and Ryan Wheat — will represent the school at the Florida Music Educators Conference in January.
“This is our highest number of students that we’ve ever sent to All-State,” chorus teacher Amy Davis said.
Junior Ryan Wheat said he was elated when he learned that he was one of 92 high school students in the Florida All-State Men’s Chorus.
“I just found out the other day around 10 [p.m.],” he said. “I was checking the [Florida Vocal Association] website on and off all day, and when I saw a post on Facebook about a friend of mine making All-State, I rushed to go check. Sure enough, I made it.”
The All-State audition process includes three portions: a written music theory exam, a sight-singing performance and a vocal quality music performance.
“Eight students initially auditioned, but one only got to the third portion,” Davis said. “The students have to be well-rounded. They have to be able to sight read and just be able to sing right through a piece.”
Wheat said the process, which lasted from late September to October, was difficult and required much preparation.
“The first step in the auditions was for the musicianship test and sight-reading. People had about two weeks to prepare the music for their area their score put them in,” he said. “I took voice lessons, studied vocabulary, took practice tests and did a lot of sight-reading practice.”
The seven new members will represent the school at the Florida Music Educators Association Conference in Tampa from Jan. 9-12. Davis said she hopes the students will learn from the experience.
“They’ll be amazing people from all over the state,” she said. “[All-State Chorus] is one of the best ensembles they’ll participate in because they’ll be surrounded by some of the best musicians in the state. So it’s just an amazing experience.”
Wheat said he was uncertain if he would be accepted into the All-State Chorus.
“I didn’t expect to get in because the ranking system only accepts so many of the people try out. Even if you get a great score, it still doesn’t mean you’re in,” he said. “So I was extremely happy.”
However, he says he’s just excited that he was accepted.
“Anyone who makes it to All-State is one of the top singers in the state, and that in itself is quite an accomplishment.”