Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Well, I've had some questions about what McKinley was auditioning for...where to begin?

Oklahoma has three All-State honor choirs. Elementary, Jr. High, and High School. To audition for Elementary you first have to do a short audition with your school music teacher and be accepted into Circle the State. Circle the State is the honor choir for our region of Oklahoma. If your teacher thinks you're good enough you will be asked to audition for All-State. Each teacher is only allowed to enter 5 students so you have to be the best of the best. Our school music teacher had never allowed 5th graders to enter because she saved that honor for her middle school students she thought were good enough. (You can be in it from 4th-8th grades.)

When McKinley got to 5th grade our aunt (her private voice teacher) talked to the choir teacher and asked her to enter McKinley. A CD was made and sent in and we waited on pins and needles. She was picked! She made it again last year as well. This year because she's in 7th grade she is eligible for Circle the State, Childrens All-State, COCDA Choir, and Jr. High All-State. COCDA is the Circle the State for 7th-9th graders. She started memorizing three songs in June to prepare. One simply says Alleluia/Amen over and over again but the other two were in Portuguese and Latin!! For Jr. High you don't get to make a CD, you go to a live audition! She was nervous until our aunt told her the judges were behind a curtain. She made it into COCDA Choir and we were on to All-State try outs!

That's what necessitated the flight to Enid this last Saturday. I was feeling a little nervous myself knowing that my uncle and aunt were spending a lot of time and money to make sure she got there! But thankfully she was well prepared and made it through the first round. On the 18th she has the round two audition. At each audition they pick two of the three songs and then choose 16 measures out of each to be sung. For round two they'll choose harder sections of two of the songs. We're very hopeful and will be even prouder of her if she makes it all the way! We're thrilled with her success so far.

So what happens at these choirs? For Circle the State the students work on the songs on their own then meet together on one day, work with the clinician for several hours, and present a concert. For All-State the students work on their music on their own and then travel to another city where they stay in a hotel for two nights and attend three days of rehearsals with the guest clinician. On the third day they give a concert for the annual convention of all Oklahoma music teachers.

The last two guest clinicians have been vastly different and both a blast! The first one had it in for a mysterious alto that kept singing the wrong part. She would stop everyone and tell that alto she was going to hunt them down! Last year was a man who loved to dance around the room standing on chairs to get the kids attention. Many girls commented that he needed to keep his arms down or buy longer shirts!

I'm not for sure who the Jr. High All-State will sing for...I need to find that out!

So, there it is...the whole drawn out story. It sounds boring but for us it's very exciting and quite an honor.

The best part of this year? Kennedy was able to be entered in Children's All State because of our aunt teaching her privately. She was accepted and recently was recognized in school for being the only 4th grader to ever be chosen from our school. She was very proud, and so are we!

1 comment:

Jennifer Chronicles ( said...

7th grade! Where've I been? I think it is exciting.