LNHS Online Newspaper

Eagle's View

LNHS Online Newspaper

Eagle's View

LNHS Online Newspaper

Eagle's View

All-State All Day

Results and overview of the 2023-24 All-State auditions for North’s band and orchestra

   On December 2nd, Liberty North’s band and orchestra traveled to Mizzou and Hickman High School for the 2023-24 All-State auditions. North had eight students make the All-State ensemble: Natalie Coleman for orchestra and Seth Nickel, Kayla Nelson, Mason Burnett, Andrew McGuire, William Kanning, Grace Flener, and Noah Adrineda for band. Also making All-State Honorable Mention are Preston Elliott, Makena Dickens, and Ash Merenbloom.

   “The All-State Orchestra is notoriously one of the most cut-throat, competitive ensembles in the entire state. It is top musicians who have practiced, who are passionate, and who put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the possibility of being in a very select ensemble. The fact that our students are willing to be that vulnerable and courageous to perform a blind audition for three judges with the odds against them says a lot. And then having musicians who make the ensemble is a huge illustration of the work, talent, and skill we’re lucky to have at LNHS,” orchestra director Alysse Trusty said.

   Seeing All-State results can be emotional, no matter how the musician performed, whether it’s excitement or disappointment. But for others, it’s bittersweet. It can be difficult to hear an audition be successful but that person not make the ensemble, even if they’re capable of playing at that level, and it’s hard for both the auditioner and their friends.

   “I was so happy to get in and also happy to see friends get in. It’s super tough, however, to see other friends who have been working super hard and deserve to experience All-State not make it,” junior violist Natalie Coleman said.

   One person Coleman believed should have made All-State is Preston Elliott, a sophomore violist at North. Elliott offers his thoughts on his audition performance and his reaction to the results.

   “I thought my audition was okay. It was definitely better than last year, but the excerpts brought out my flaws. I felt very nervous but I just tried to calm myself down before I auditioned. I’m happy I got Honorable Mention. I mean that’s a huge accomplishment for a sophomore, but it kind of stings knowing I was so close to getting in,” Elliott said.

  The day of the audition is when nerves are at their highest, no matter how students feel about their performance. Preparing for and not knowing how you auditioned for such a prestigious ensemble until the evening can be nerve-wracking. Junior horn player Kayla Nelson describes the moments before auditioning and how she mentally and physically prepared.

   “I definitely felt nervous, but it was controlled. I try to remind myself that all I can do is play my best and the rest will take care of itself. I prepared by repetition of the audition material and working on weak spots until I felt confident. Resting is also really important before an audition. I forced myself to practice less in the days leading up to the audition so my face was rested before playing,” Nelson said.

   Senior trombonist Andrew McGuire shares his audition experience as a senior, being aware that this was his last All-State audition in his career.

   “Years before, my auditions were much less stressful because I could always tell myself ‘you have next year too.’ This year was my last year, so, the week prior to auditions, I had a lot of stress to practice and get as good as possible,” McGuire said.

   With heightened emotions and many first and final-time auditioners, having a good support system can be comforting for musicians. Oftentimes, musicians overthink and are self-conscious at auditions because they compare themselves to others and want to earn a chair in the ensemble. Having people who can help navigate those emotions and offer stability is beneficial.

   “I was stuck waiting awhile outside the audition room so my mindset going into the room was probably not the greatest. Even though it was a little crazy, I still had a great time with my friends (the viola team this year is the best) and I really enjoyed the experience,” Coleman said.

   Junior cellist Drew Hodges elaborates on the support given and received at All-State this year.

   “All of my friends supported me and it was nice to have people reassure me that I am still a good musician, regardless of the results. I told them that too because it was true. It felt like a good system because we were all able to support each other,” Hodges said.

   Regardless of whether the musician was chosen to play in All-State Band or Orchestra, the fact that they auditioned in the first place can be seen as an accomplishment and a learning experience. It’s important for musicians to not let one result shatter their confidence, though it may be meaningful to them. Audition results are not defining and Trusty believes musicians should remember that they are worth more than one event.

   “I’m humbled by them. I love them. This one single audition is a small blip on the audition circuit radar. If they learned from the experience and played their best in the given situation at that time, that’s all I ask for. It is just an honor to stand in front of them every day and make the level of music with them that they do,” Trusty said.

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