By: Cassidy Tolley
All-State is an organization for the coming together of some of the best choral or band students in West Virginia. Being chosen for All-State choir or band is a huge honor for a recipient. Two of our senior students have been chosen this year for the third year in a row, a rare event.
Senior Jeana Mahan has been selected to participate in All-State Choir for 2016. This makes her third year being chosen for All-State, which has not happened for a very long time. To try out for All-State Choir, one must audition at the school for choir director Annie Hancock. An audio recording is sent to judges, and from there, eight recipients will be chosen. The eight recipients then travel to Parkersburg, where they audition at Regionals.
“I feel so honored to be a third year recipient because of how selective the process is,” says Mahan.
Five students were chosen from our high school and will perform at the All-State Choir Conference in March.
In March, singers from all over the state will come together for three days to perfect the music they will perform.
“It is a very tiring process, but absolutely worth it to sing with some of the best singers in the state. The songs we sing are some of the hardest musical pieces I’ve ever performed, but they always end up being my favorite,” said Mahan on performing at the conference. “I’ve met some of my best friends through All State. It has also helped me in making lasting connections for the future,” she said.
Senior Olivia Poe has been playing the French horn for almost four years. She has been a qualifier for All-State her sophomore, junior, and now senior year.
“The first time I tired out for All-State was simply for the thrill of it,” said Poe.
Trying out for All-State band is much different than choir and requires an audition in six different categories including tone, sight-reading, scales, etudes, solo, and overall quality. The audition is performed blind behind a curtain, without speaking.
Poe has worked with many different band directors in the past, including RHS director Sherry Poole and WV Symphony instructor Tom Beal. Poe travels to Charleston on Mondays and Tuesdays to rehearse with the symphony and has put in a lot of time and effort to reach where she is now.
“The benefits that have come from All-State have not been as much about being there, but the process of getting there,” said Poe.
“All-State has been such a neat experience,” said Poe. “I am able to reunite with familiar faces as well as meet a lot of brand new people who share the same ambition as me.”
We at Ripley High are very proud of our senior qualifiers and wish them the best at their conferences next month.