The Senior All State weekend, which included a concert at Morgan State University in Baltimore, occurred on Feb. 18 through Feb. 21. All State consists of a junior band, which includes musicians in 7th through 9th grade in Maryland and a senior band, which consists of 10th through 12th graders. There is also a senior orchestra, a senior mixed chorus and a women’s chorus.
Every year, each All State ensemble gets together for one rehearsal-packed weekend. Mt. Hebron was well-represented, with students participating in both band and chorus. Seniors Devlin Donaldson and Donovan Dicks participated in band. Senior Eleanor Zhang, juniors Sophie Greenwell, Grace Dillon, Emma Kate Davis and Edima Essien participated in chorus.
The All State ensembles require an audition to get into an ensemble of choice. This audition requires students to prepare music selections as provided by the Maryland Music Educators Association as well as a small sight reading piece. This past year, Junior All State auditions were held on Nov. 14, and Senior All State auditions were on Nov. 21.
The students who made all state are standout leaders in their respective ensembles. The musicians practiced repetitively inside and outside of school.
“They show a consistent behavior of hard work, with consistent practice routines at home,”said Band director Mr. Will Marrin. “When they are in class, they demonstrate how to play music, so everyone knows their part. It is a great experience for them.”
“I did All State in New York,” Mr. Marrin continued. “Realizing how detail oriented it is to get in, I raised my own expectations. I wanted them to have the mentality and want to practice and make the music the best that it can be.”
Mr. Marrin structured his classes to “help build fundamentals for all state,” he said.
Donaldson and Dicks are two band students who have impacted not only their teachers, but also their fellow classmates and musicians.
“Donovan and Devlin are very responsible. They are always on time and enthusiastic at what they do. They are role models,” stated sophomore Kevin Wang, who plays the French horn.
The All State weekend provided an unforgettable experience for many talented students from all around the state of Maryland. Dillon described her experience with chorus as “really nice, such a nice group and really talented people,” she said.
Perhaps one of the most valuable experiences from All State is getting to work with a talented guest conductor who can offer valuable insight about the music. Professor Bruce Rogers is the director of choral activities at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. Rogers has conducted and has been involved with music all around the world.
“[Professor Rogers] has a lot of experience. Our main focus on the songs was the meaning. Even if you don’t have a connection, you faked one and you acted,” explained Greenwell.
When it comes down to it, All State is about performing high-level music in a high quality ensemble composed of the most talented musicians from all around the state.
“We played grade 6 level college music. I got to play with all the best musicians,” stated Donaldson.
All of these musicians represented Mt Hebron well at the All State weekend. Although Senior All States have come and gone, the Junior All State concerts will be held on March 6.