Students prepare for Washington All-State and Regional Northwest

Katrina Filer, Staff Writer

Over the past few months, a few dedicated music students have been practicing, perfecting, and eventually memorizing some of the hardest pieces they have ever seen. They are preparing for the Washington All-State competition, and some of them, the regional All-Northwest competition.
All-State is February 11-14 and in Yakima. Junior Hannah Edmonds and sophomore Sophie Ossorio will be participating in the Symphonic Choir, and junior Brendan Weibel will play the bassoon in the band.
The choir audition process involved singing scales, exercises, and song excerpts. They record and send it to the judges, who decide who to accept.
“[Students] come in and it’s a blind audition. It’s all timed online, so once I click the exercise to record, boom, that’s it,” Liberty choir director Robin Wood said.
Woodwind and brass instruments prepared five difficult etudes for their audition. Brendan Weibel auditioned, and is now looking forward to the All-State weekend.
“I really hope to come out of it having known I played this awesome music as well as I could and having the memory of all the people I met,” Weibel said.
Junior Tiffany Yamasaki had this experience at All-State the previous year.
“All-State is great because you get to meet new people who have at least one common interest with you. And hearing a group of 300 singers is amazing in comparison to the 70 member choir at Liberty that I’m used to,” Yamasaki said.
American Choral Director’s Association All-Northwest lasts March 6-9 in Seattle. Sophomore Samuel Rausch will be part of the Jazz Honor Choir, freshman Abigail Rausch will sing with the Youth Honor Choir, and juniors Tiffany Yamasaki and Hannah Edmonds are with the Women’s Honor Choir.
“I’ve started listening to the pieces online, reading them, and going over them on my piano so I know the pieces really well when I get there,” Edmonds said.
The experiences that students gain will also affect the quality of music here at Liberty.
“As they go to these events and hear 300 voices from around the country, and then work on advanced music that stretches their abilities, all of that information comes back to their sensibilities when they return to the choir, and it just ramps up the professionalism,” Wood said.
The schedule for both events is intense. Students rehearse up to twelve hours a day, with only short breaks for meal times in between. The music, however, makes up for it. The performance at the end highlights all kinds of music, from Latin to Renaissance and anthems to Broadway classics.
The All-State and All-Northwest conventions are a chance for music students to meet other musicians, experience a higher degree of professionalism, and bring their newly-toned skills back to benefit Liberty’s music programs.