Portland Christian Schools Preschool - Grade 12

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Making Music during a Maddening Time

January 11, 2022


Seven PCS student musicians will be joining about 1,100 other Oregonian student musicians at the OMEA (Oregon Music Education Association) All State event in Eugene, Oregon from January 14-16, 2022. 

The event is an honor music ensemble program that has been held annually for more than 60 years.  Select student musicians from middle school choir, band and orchestra, and high school jazz band, symphonic band, wind ensemble, orchestra, and mixed choir gather together for a weekend and experience the privilege of rehearsing and performing with renowned guest conductors. 

Congratulations go to:

Junior High Band students

Hudson Calhoun (trombone)
Coleson Schroder (euphonium)

High School choir students

Sarah Asaya (Soprano 2)
Susan Asaya (Alto 2)
Rebecca Barnes (Alto 1)
Grace Beals (Soprano 2)
Anna Humphrey (Soprano 1)

Individual photos of most of the student participants

To be part of this special program, these students were recommended by their music teacher, Mr. Joseph Ostrand and were also required to submit audition recordings. High school choir students auditioned with six recorded audition tracks: three scales, prepared lyrical lines, prepared choral, sight-reading exercise. Junior high band students’ audition recordings consisted of a scale they played on their instruments.

Grace Beals, a 12th grader, is very excited to be part of a 200 person mixed choir.  It’s her first time to apply and be accepted to All State.  She’s looking forward to meeting like-minded students who enjoy singing!

For junior Anna Humphrey, this is the second time she’s succeeded to be part of All State.  However, last year, due to COVID, there was no in-person program.  Letters of commendation were sent out to the students in lieu of a group participation.  Humphrey is “really excited” to receive this honor as only 25 students are accepted for each voice part in the mixed choir. 

As a senior, Rebecca Barnes is looking forward to being part of the All State this year.  It’s her first time in this program. “When I was younger I always looked up to people who got to All State. It meant that you were the best!” Her experience in musical theater and private voice lessons have helped her feel confident as she readies herself to be part of a 200 person choir!

For each of the girls - the Asaya sisters, Barnes, Beals, and Humphrey - all of whom are also members  of the PCS Ensemble - singing is an enjoyable, de-stressing community activity.  Eleventh grader Sarah Asaya expresses it the best, “I love harmonizing, seeing people’s faces when I sing. The energy you get singing together is really powerful.”

Eighth grader Coleson Schroder who plays the euphonium had to practice the audition scale (24 notes in all, from low E to high F) many times before band teacher Mr. Ostrand declared it ready to submit! Schroder notes, “Since I’ve been practicing for All State, my range [on the euphonium] has increased.”  As a young student musician, he knew that students who played at All State had to be “really good” to apply. So when Mr. O asked him if he was interested in auditioning, he thought it would be “cool to do something outside of school.” 

The influence of PCS music teachers, Mrs. Lisa Singleterry (Elementary), and Mr. Ostrand (Jr/Sr High School) is very evident in the many students who enjoy singing and playing instruments, and who find joy in making music!

Tickets for the All State performances are available for online purchase at https://search.seatyourself.biz/webstore/accounts/oregonmusic/buy-tix

The Jr High (middle school) band performance is scheduled for Friday evening, January 14, at the First Baptist Church in Eugene.

The High school mixed choir performance is scheduled for Sunday, January 16, at the First United Methodist Church, Eugene.

Further detailed information available at: 




Written by Grace Dugger
Edited by Linda Swenson