Performing at the IMEA All-State Conference: Four Uni musicians take their place among Illinois elite
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 11:14pm
UNI HIGH IS a place where we are surrounded by other students with a passion for learning. Many students also have more specific passions, though, such as a particular musical instrument.
So where can students go to be surrounded by others with a specific passion regarding music? The 2008 Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference in Peoria, which took place Jan. 30 to Feb. 2.
This year, four Uni students were recognized as some of the top high school musicians in Illinois.
The prestigious conference is an annual event that draws students from all over Illinois. Berl and Borup attended the conference as a part of the All-State Honors Chorus, singing tenor I and bass I, respectively. Roloff and Zhang participated in the All-State Honors Orchestra, playing oboe and violin I respectively.
Uni music director Rick Murphy accompanied the students on the trip, just as excited about being immersed in music.
“The IMEA conference is a huge event every year,” said Murphy, a past president of IMEA. “In addition to the all-state music ensembles, it serves as the yearly professional workshop/convention for over 2,000 music educators in Illinois.”
This was the second year Berl and Roloff attended the conference, and Zhang’s third.
“I probably enjoyed this [year] more simply because I was placed in a higher orchestra,” said Roloff, one of just four oboists chosen for the Honors Orchestra. “The All-State Orchestra is good, but playing in the Honors Orchestra was amazing! I think that I probably learned a lot more from this year than last year.”
For Borup, however, the conference was a new experience, and one that he enjoyed.
“Going in I was worried that three days would seem like forever, but by the time it was over I couldn't believe how fast it had gone,” said Borup. “It was really neat to see how fast we could improve as a group between our first rehearsal and the concert.”
The students arrived on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 30, and saw the first event, “It’s Opening Night,” which included performances by the X-Chords, a string quartet, and a jazz ensemble.
The next morning, Roloff and Zhang auditioned for spots in the Honors Orchestra, while Berl and Borup went to rehearsal.
After Thursday's rehearsals and concerts, the results of the auditions were posted at 5 p.m. Roloff and Zhang both made the Honors Orchestra!
"I was really excited to get into honors," says Roloff, "because not only is the orchestra better, but I liked the music a lot better as well."
Berl and Borup made the Honors Chorus, as well, although they had found out before the conference.
"I was unfortunately dealing with a cough and cold symptoms during the week," said Borup "[But] even when I wasn't up to 100 percent, the choir sounded amazing because it was the best of the best in the entire state!"