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IMEA: Seven Uni students honored as All-State musicians

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This year, seven Uni students have been honored as All-State musicians by the Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA), placing them among Illinois' elite.

Three orchestra students, senior Chelsea Edwards (violin), senior Petra Rantanen (cello), and sophomore Darren Liu (cello), made All-State, while four singers were selected for the All-State choir: seniors Kody Carmody (baritone), Bissy Michael (alto II), Kaila Simpson (alto I), and Juliana Trach (soprano II).

Music teacher Rick Murphy said for a school of Uni's size, seven students is a nice number. While Uni has had as many as 12 students in the past, typically the number falls between three to eight students.

Earlier this year, 37 Uni students -- the highest Uni has ever had -- earned all-district honors based on their excellent performances at the district auditions. At the district festivals, the best musicians from every school are invited to the All-State conference.

All-State choir and band are open to juniors and seniors, while All-State orchestra is open to sophomores through seniors.

Uni's All-State musicians will travel with music teacher and fine arts department head Rick Murphy to Peoria on January 23-26 to attend the 2013 IMEA All-State conference. This year's theme is "Music in the Key of Change," according to the IMEA website.

At the conference, students will spend the most of their time rehearsing and preparing for the culminating performance on the last day of the event. Orchestra and band members will also audition again on the first day to determine seat placement in the All-State orchestra or band.