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Nerve wrecking Auditions for State-wide Orchestra Brings Merriment to Young Promising Musicians

Once again, the arrival of winter brought the key moment of the school year for many students—it’s time for the all state musical group auditions!

For MCPS students with passions for music, all states auditions are one of the rare opportunities to showcase the fruits of their labors; and maybe, to become a member in one of Maryland’s most prestigious young musician groups; be it chorus, orchestra, band or jazz band.

“[The auditions] were not stressful, but [I] was nervous” says Kathy Kim, one of the sixty or so students who prevailed in the all-state orchestra auditions. “Yes, I do take music lessons, and I have been in all state before, and it’s always a plenty of fun ” added Kim.

“Auditioning was easy” said Jerry Yang, another successful student “We are well prepared for all state because of the rigor involved in our school [band]. It’s good when you are constantly challenged and motivated by your school band.”

Jerry’s parents are equally approving, “He went because he likes to see his friends, and it’s also a lot of fun for him. It’ll be a good opportunity to meet other kids from different regions of the state…making music together and learning together, meeting new friends.”

“We were ok with him trying out, because all state doesn’t have a lot of practice, only a few times a year.” says Andrew Chen, father of an accepted violinist. “He’s very excited, and it’s a good opportunity.”

Typically, All-State audition requirements involve two to three designated selections that demonstrate contrasting style. Students are also required to performance three octave or chromatic scales depending on instrument. A sight reading piece with difficulty equivalent to all-state’s concert repertoire will be given at the end of each audition. Specific requirements can be requested through students’ music teacher. Current enrollment in the school’s music class is an eligibility requirement.

Richard Montgomery High School instrumental teacher, Mr. Robert Perry, recommends that students start preparation three months prior to the auditions.

“Each applicant will be judged by a panel of professional musicians, they can get a bit picky with rhythm and pitch. Obviously some instruments offer fewer spots than others, which is why everyone must come prepared.”

Congratulations to all students who’ve made it into All state!

Article by Shannon Jin, freshman at Wootton High School, SAC press correspodent

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