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All States Plays On

All+States+Plays+On

All States is a state-wide competition where students in orchestra, choir, or band audition and compete with other students from all over the state to become members. Auditions started as early as November or as recently as this January. Many exceptional students from Wheeling Park have gotten in. Mr. Podolski is in charge of the All State Orchestra, Mrs. Jingle does All State Choir, and Mr. Birch is in charge of the All State Band.

All States Orchestra is on the 29 of February and the 1st and 2nd of March. To get in, students have to audition and compete with students from all around West Virginia. “We had our audition the 6th of January, we had 20 kids audition, and 16 of them made it from Wheeling Park High School,” said Mr. Podolski.

Faith Randolph is a violist for All States Orchestra.“[For the audition] we got our music a few months before and we usually practice it and practice it,” said Randolph. “Then when you get to the audition you have a certain time slot when you go in and then you go in for your audition. The judges will grade you for each component of the audition and then you’re done.”

When thinking of practices, people think of the whole production getting together and playing together. For All States, each student practices at home before anything.  “We don’t really get together until the conference,” said Randolph. “[At the conference] we practice in about three-hour increments … up until the concert I go in and practice by myself  for a few hours at night.”

“[All States Orchestra] is not as scary as it seems. If you want to do it, go out and do it,” said Randolph. “It does require a lot of practice but once you get the music down it’s not as bad as you think it is.”

There is the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) and NAFME (National Association for Music Educators) for choir. ACDA is on February 3rd while the NAFME is on the same dates as the All States Orchestra. The American Choral Directors Association sponsors the ACDA while the NAFME combines orchestra, band, and choir.

“For the ACDA, the kids go to their audition in November, they have to have all the music prepared, and they go in individually and sing their prepared music, they sight read, and they clap rhythms,” said Mrs. Jingle. “For the NAFME, they audition at the school level and they take eight students, two sopranos, two altos, two tenors, and two basses. They have to go to a regional audition, down at John Marshall High School, and audition in front of a panel of judges that will make sure they have achieved the level that they want them to achieve before attending the All State event.”

Although it is extremely competitive to get in, the All State experience is more of an opportunity. “It’s an individual accomplishment,” said Mrs. Jingle. “It’s for them to say they were able to be a part of an All State ensemble.” In the same way, “[The All States title means] they are considered among the best musicians in the state,” said Mrs. Greenwood.

Kaleb Trimmier auditioned and made both the ACDA and NAFME. “[For the audition] They put you outside of the room and then you wait in anticipation for a real long time,” said Trimmier. “Once you get inside the people are really nice. They make you go through some sight singing and then you go through some rhythm examples and then you go through some of the pieces.”

“I enjoy choir so I figured that was the natural progression,” said Trimmier. “Having experience with more experienced directors puts you into a different mind frame and leads you into a more mature sound.”

Balancing school and extracurriculars can be hard, especially if you have to balance two. “Most of my practice time comes from after school, so if I have my homework done it’s not too bad,” said Trimmier. “It’s a whole lot of fun. Chorus is great, especially during our rehearsal times during the holidays. You get together and everyone comes together to create something really nice.”

All States Band plays on the same day as All States Orchestra and Choir.  The audition process is unlike the other two. “[The students] go down to Morgantown at WVU and have blind auditions,” said Mr. Birch. “He or she has their back turned from you. You are not allowed to talk to them. There is a sergeant of arms who does the talking for you and they tell you what is going to happen. After playing their prepared piece… They are rated on a rubric and then they take the top kids from each second to be a part of it.”

This year, we had two students from Wheeling Park High School to be a part of this. Taylor Antigo is a first-year player who plays the oboe. “I chose to join because I saw it as a challenge,” said Antigo. “I saw it as the best thing I could do for my music performance in high school.”

“[The audition process] was definitely stressful,” said Antigo. “We got there, we had a designated time slot, and as long as we auditioned in that time slot it was fine. You aren’t allowed to talk to the judge. They make you play a random scale they choose on the spot. They put you through the two excerpts they choose for you and the solo you pick out. Afterward, they score you by how well you did.”

Being a part of all states is an amazing opportunity for many students. “When I found out I felt like I had succeeded,” said Antigo. “It felt like a dream come true.”

Good luck to all the students who will be performing at All States!

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Lucrezia Santini, Staff Writer
  • Journalism I
  • Freshman
  • Cross-Country/ Robotics
  • I can speak Italian.
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