30 City High Musicians Accepted Into All-State


Zoë Miller

City High band members who were accepted into All-State are recognized in front of the Iowa City Community School Board.

Zoë Miller, A&E Editor

Silence immediately settled over the room as the lists naming those accepted were carried into the gym. Everyone flocked to one wall, watching as they were unfurled. The air was saturated with tension. Then all the emotions that had been held in were released in waves of responses as students began finding their names.

“[Finding out I made All State] was a sense of relief and happiness because this year I’d put in so much work [into it] and it had finally paid off. I was crying a lot,” Elias Perez ‘19 said.

Each year City High Orchestra, Band, and Choir travel to Washington, Iowa to audition for All State. The day starts early and ends late with with the possibilities of multiple auditions. Making the All State Music Festival is one of the highest honors that high school musicians can achieve.

Students spend hours upon hours rehearsing and working for their audition. There are six audition centers all across the state of Iowa.

“[Being accepted] was exciting, but [auditions] were more nerve wracking because since I had gotten in last year I had higher expectations for myself. It was nice to get in again,” Annalise Rummelhart ‘19 said.

The selection process is incredibly selective. Only 600 vocalists, 276 band members and 209 orchestra members make up the entire All State Festival. City High had 28 students accepted and two alternates this year. Not only does making All-State boost confidence but it also prepares students for future performances.

“[The students] all came out of the [All-State] process as better musicians than when they went in,” Dr. Myron McReynolds, City High band director, said. “I’m very proud of the students who were accepted but also for all of those who took the time and energy to prepare.”

Those auditioning for the first time found the day to be especially long but to make it as a freshman shows incredible musicianship. Oliver Bostian ‘21 was accepted as a second violin in his first ever All-State audition and he looks forward to the chance to play in this group of people.

“The [orchestra] piece that we’re playing is going to be a great experience because it’s one that most professional orchestras play, so if I ever get to that stage in life I’ll be able to say that I’ve already performed it,” Bostian ‘21 said.

Because of the amount of time students spend practicing whether they are accepted or not they grow in their musical abilities.

“The reason why [students] do [All State] is because they love to sing and they want a high level challenge,” James Thompson, head choir director, said. “They want to improve their skills and no matter if they get selected or don’t they are still going to improve immensely through the process.”

For each musician making All State means something different, however it usually boils down to pure joy.

“When I learned I made it I was super happy and we all had a huge hug pile,” Laura Friestad ‘21 said.