IMEA: Seven Uni Students to attend All-State
Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 3:46pm
Every year, the Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA) hosts auditions for District Festivals all over Illinois. From these auditions, a select few are chosen to go to the All-State festival and concert in Peoria. This year, seven Uni students will proceed to All-State.
Three Uni students made the All-State band: senior Aishwarya Gautam on flute, senior Hannah Johlas on tuba, and junior Leif Hague on clarinet. Another three students were selected for the orchestra: junior Chelsea Edwards on violin, junior Petra Rantanen on cello, and sophomore Nathan Beauchamp on viola. Junior Kaila Simpson qualified for All-State chorus.
For all seven students, except Edwards, this will be their first time attending All-State. Edwards qualified last year as well. Johlas' appearance also marks the first time in Uni's history that a tuba has been selected to go to IMEA All-State, a festival that Uni has participated in for about 70 years.
"Hannah has been an excellent student for five years," said Executive Fine Arts teacher Rick Murphy. "[She's] loyal and works really hard and this rewards all of her hard work for over five years. It’ll be really exciting for her."
The All-State Festival will take place Jan. 25-28. The students will have to audition again when they arrive, as there are two separate orchestras, bands, and choirs. Then they will have three days of rehearsals which culminate in the concerts on Jan. 28.
While the competition is always difficult, Murphy is pleased by the number of students who qualified for All-State this year.
"Uni’s had anywhere from three kids make All-State, to one year we were really fortunate and had 11. Usually four to six is more of a normal range so seven is a little above average. It’s a good number for a school of our size," Murphy said.
The competition provides an exciting learning experience for the musicians involved.
"Getting to play with people who are really excited about music is interesting because you get a different caliber of experience, because you’re playing with all these people and they’re all very good," said Gautam.