Students Sing Their Way to State


Liam Hahn, Ast. Web Editor

“Repeat after me. See ma ma, to da eem bay paradiso.” 150 men sing in unison, filling the small room within the convention center with an echoed richness of deep male voices.

Colorado All State Choir, an event that happens once a year where some of the best high school the best singers in the state of Colorado gather for 3 days and 2 nights to come together in three separate choirs and create music.

Back in November, kids auditioned across the state for a chance to participate in one of the 2015 All State Choirs. For months before their auditions, kids prepared choral solos, and mastered their vocal techniques.

“I was scared of the man in the audition room because he had a stern look and every time he looked at me, I could see my soul turning black in the reflection of his bald head. I felt I was able to prepare, but I freaked out under the pressure, ” said Sr. Zoe Larsen.

After the initial audition, these students anxiously await the letter to their director that will ultimately reveal if they made the cut.

“Those long week waiting to be informed if I made it are always the longest weeks of the year,” said Sr. Liam Hahn. This is Hahn’s second year to participate at All State.

When the results finally arrive, a sigh of relief is felt across the high school choir world. But this period of relaxation does not last long.

For the students who were selected, this is the time where they start to receive their music that their directors picked out for them. Each choir has 5-7 pieces to be performed, all of which must be memorized by the time the actual event rolls around.

“I used to prepare the practice tracks for the students and help each student learn their parts, but nowadays technology has taken a huge part of their preparation and I’m just here to keep them on track,” said Teacher Tom Kyser. Kyser has been to around 20 All State Festivals.

Once in Denver, each student has to go through the re-audition process, a mock audition where each student has to sing 3 short excerpts, from memory, from the pieces that their choir will be singing to prove that they learned the music.

“It was extremely stressful because you start off thinking that everyone is more memorized and prepared with their music, but then I realized that everyone was struggling just as much as I was,” said Sr. Luke Fowler. Fowler participated in the Men’s choir at All State.

After this has ended, the student’s all celebrate. They have finally made it, and their lives finally turn from that of a normal high school student, to that of a member of an All State Choir.

For the next two days, the students days are filled with hours upon hours of rehearsing and working to create beauty within their music. After two days of rehearsal, approximately 12 hours of singing, the students all unite on the Bellco theatre stage to put on the ending concert and show the world what they’ve spent countless hours to make happen.

“It is so amazing that my goosebumps get goosebumps. All State Choir is the best professional development I ever get. Every year, it inspires me to become better,” said Kyser when asked about the ending concert.