Student musicians selected for ‘All-State’ group

Nnenna Nchege, Staff Writer

For some, more than nine months of long, grueling auditions might be a high price to pay for a simple title, but for the recently selected All-State musicians, it was worth every minute.

“The feeling when they call your name announcing that you’ve made it into the choir is definitely worth all of the time and energy required for the audition process,” senior Katie Strand said. “We have gone through such an intense nine-month audition process that by the time you make it to the last round of auditions, it’s incredibly rewarding and almost surreal.”

Out of 68,000 students, 1,780 were selected from around the state to perform in one of 15 groups including bands, orchestras, and choirs. Seniors Hannah Hansen, Katie Strand, Mandy Rickett, and Noah Johnson were among the top six of their voice parts in the choir’s competitive area.  

“It felt so unreal when I heard my name called out because this is something I’ve been working towards since the summer before freshman year,” Rickett said. “It feels amazing that all my hard work had paid off, and I’ve reached a longtime goal.”

Choir teacher Cathy Koziatek said the four choir students who earned a place in the Texas All-State Choir are the highest number of students selected among schools in this region.

“The pride I feel for these students is immense,” Koziatek said. “They have worked tirelessly for this incredible honor, and through the process, they have become better singers, musicians, and human beings.”

Out of 11 LHS band students that competed in the final round of the Texas All-State Auditions, junior Sarah Jahnke and senior Patrick O’Brien were named Texas All-State Band Members.

“It felt like a dream come true,” Jahnke said. “My mom and I cried with joy because all of the work that I had done had gotten me to an amazing experience that I can’t wait for.”

Seniors Anthony Tang and Andrew Chang were named All-State Orchestra Members a few months ago.

The selected students are now preparing to participate in the annual state of Texas Music Educators Association Clinic and Convention from Feb. 14-17 in San Antonio, Texas.