30 City High Students Accepted Into All-State Ensembles


Esther Puderbaugh

Liv Leman ’25 poses next to the list of accepted bass clarinets

Tai Caputo and Esther Puderbaugh

On Saturday, October 22, some of Iowa’s finest student musicians traveled to audition for the prestigious All-State band, chorus, and orchestra. Washington High School in Washington, Iowa was full of some of the brightest young musicians in the state, all aiming for a spot in one of the ensembles after months of preparation. 

Braeden Marker ‘23, an alto saxophonist, had never auditioned for All-State. Marker felt that the experience was different than he had anticipated.

When you visualize yourself in an audition, it’s a completely different world from when you’re actually in the audition,” Marker said. “I think that kind of threw me off a bit, and caused a lot of errors I didn’t expect.” 

Sebastian Sauder ‘24 auditioned for the third time on cello, and thought it was quite similar to years past.

“It was pretty much what I expected,” Sauder said. “I auditioned last year and it was very similar to my experience last year. Though this year it was not blind [behind a screen], which changed things a little bit, because you talked to the judge a little bit.” 

“I feel all right about how I did,” Sauder said. “I made a few mistakes, but I feel happy about how I presented my playing. You’re bound to make a few mistakes and so that’s just kind of the way it goes.” 

Many of the students felt that they had learned a lot from the rigorous practice involved in preparing for All-State.

Norah Mettemeyer ‘24, a soprano and first-time All-State auditionee, felt the audition process was what she expected. 

“Going into this, I kind of had the mentality of ‘Oh I’m not gonna get in, but that’s not an excuse not to try’ so I wasn’t too stressed out yesterday and last night,” Mettemeyer said. “But this morning, when I got dressed and stuff here, I thought, ‘Wow, this is a real thing, and I really wanna get in’.”

Mettemeyer thought that she learned a lot from preparing.

“I learned how to be better at reading music, and counting, and timing, and how to read new time signatures that I didn’t even know existed,” Mettemeyer said.

Jen Tran ‘25 felt that her audition as an alto was exactly as scary as she had imagined it to be, but she had not anticipated how difficult preparation would be.

I didn’t expect how much work it was going to be, to put yourself so bare in front of someone,” Tran said. “And then have someone dictate whether or not you’re gonna be accepted in this one thing.”

Ultimately, Tran is glad that she auditioned.

I’ve gotten more confident in my voice through this,” Tran said. “I learned that you shouldn’t let your expectations dictate your actual personal worth. At the end of the day, you’re still amazing, and you still worked really hard to get in.”

Later in the day, results for the three ensembles were gradually released to the cheers of students. Ultimately, 30 City High students were accepted into the band, chorus, and orchestra. Below is a list of the accepted student musicians. 


Molly Riepe ‘23, flute

Lily Moninger ‘25, clarinet

Liv Leman ‘25, bass clarinet

Ella Sherlock ‘23, bassoon

Ilan Tallman ‘24, bassoon

Ben Platte ‘24, trumpet

Olivia Vande Berg ‘25, oboe alternate

Oliver Palmer ‘25, baritone saxophone alternate

Seth Yoder ‘25, trumpet alternate

Marcus Miller ‘23, trombone alternate

Linus McRoberts ‘26, trombone alternate


Sara Brenneman ‘23, soprano 

Adam Bibb-Bentley ‘23, bass


Tai Caputo ‘25, violin 

Abigail Sigafoose ‘26, violin 

Esther Puderbaugh ‘25, viola

Kalea Seaton ‘24, viola 

Adrian Bostian ‘23, cello

Isaac Bullwinkle ‘23, cello

Marina Escandell-Tapias ‘24, cello

Sebastian Sauder ‘24, cello

Thomas Shey ‘24, cello

Henry Smith ‘24, cello

Greta Stanier ‘23, cello

Adam Zeithamel ‘23, cello

Leo Burchett ‘24, string bass

Lucy Charis-Carlson ‘24, string bass

Monique Schnoebelen ‘23, oboe

Matisse Arnone ‘23, French horn

Max Berry-Stoelzle ‘23, tuba