Honoring All-State

By Ariana Rajewski. Two hundred kids, six songs, roughly two days. Over the course of this last weekend, I had the opportunity to rehearse and perform with choir students from all over the state under the direction of Dr. Sandra Snow. Before we performed our pieces on Saturday afternoon, it was announced to the audience that our group of two hundred students did not complain once. That was a lie. The songs were difficult, and we all complained.

However, the collectivity in our complaining, among other things, opened my eyes to the overall effect the six songs had on the relationships between the two hundred kids surrounding me.

When I first walked into our rehearsal space on Thursday afternoon, students were already singing songs, helping each other with notes, rhythm, and memorization. In order to hold your spot in the choir, you have to sing in an octet for a part check to show you have memorized your music. This was the scariest, but also the best part of the weekend. Because we were all nervous for the part checks, bonds between the students began to grow simply based on the fact no one wanted to be kicked out of the choir.

Over those two days, bonds grew faster than I would have imagined. On Saturday morning, a girl named Mattie commented after a practice, saying, “The love in this choir is incredible. I didn’t know barely anyone when I first got here, but to be singing such special songs with special people – it’s insane that we can come together and feel this way together.”

Those words prompted me to think about our music and how far we had come since first arriving on Thursday. What we delivered to the audience on Saturday afternoon really was special, but the audience will never get to see what it was like during our rehearsals. They’ll never see how we came together to ensure no one was kicked out, or how we all complained about the rhythms in the songs, or how we all laughed when we accidentally kept making mistakes. The audience will never see the moments that brought two hundred kids together. It was a pleasure to perform at All State, but it was an honor to perform with those two hundred singers.

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