“I’m so excited! What a privilege!” shares 10th grader Samuel Asaya. He was accepted into the OMEA All-State HS (High School) Mixed Choir. Sam sings bass. Together with junior high students Olivia Holmstedt (alto) and Naomi Klockars (alto) who were accepted into the OMEA All-State MS (Middle School) Mixed Choir, it will be the students’ first time participating in the All-State Ensembles. It is also the first time PCS has had junior high students audition to OMEA.
States choir and band teacher, Joseph Ostrand states that, “junior high students who excelled in class” were chosen to submit audition tapes. The junior high (middle school) students sent recording of themselves singing a five note scale on solfège, in two different keys. Since more than ten junior high and senior high students submitted recordings, “it took time recording” noted Naomi Klockars.
For the high school level audition, Asaya had to sing two major scales, a chromatic scale, “America the Beautiful”, as well as sing the bass part to a 4-part chorale. This was done a cappella.
Singing has been part of all three students’ lives. Asaya is also part of his church choir; Holmstedt (7th grade) has been part of choir since elementary school and performs with the Journey Theater; Klockars (8th grade) has participated with NW Children’s Theater as well as singing in elementary school choir.
Holmstedt finds it “easier to express my feelings through singing. It’s easier to hide my emotions when I’m speaking.”
These students will have the opportunity to gather with fellow musicians from around Oregon. The OMEA All-State Ensembles will be held in Portland next year in February. Asaya and Holmstedt are looking forward to meeting new people and seeing their talents.
“I’m excited to sing with a bigger group than our [junior high] school choir,” says Klockars. The High School Mixed Choir is comprised of 140 students from all across the state, and the Middle School Mixed Choir offers 100 students the same opportunity to sing with their colleagues from all around Oregon.
Guest conductors will work with the students and their weekend will culminate in a public performance.
Save the dates: MS Mixed Choir performs in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church of Portland on Friday, February 15th at 7:00 p.m. and the HS Mixed Choir performs at the Oregon Convention Center in Hall A on Sunday, February 17th at 4:30pm.