I remember All State as a fun experience where I got to be with my friends doing what we loved...playing our instruments. I also remember the nervousness of auditions and the hours of practicing in school gyms waiting for my audition time. I relived that tension as I took my daughter to auditions years later. I always loved playing the Battle Hymn with the chorus. To this day, I still watch All State concerts as they are televised on public television.
All-State has changed my life. It gives me something to hope for every year, playing in a fantastic festival with wonderful players of extraordinary caliber. I look upon each memory I have of the festivals I was a part of with great joy and gratitude. Being accepted into the festivals opened up a wide area of opportunities for me, as a student and instrumentalist. The audition processes, of being accepted and chair placement, are incredibly stressful, but they have taught me so many skills that I am positive I will use for many years to come. Without this festival, I would still be a slightly unmotivated and lazy player. The entire “All-State experience” is something I never want to change, for it all leads up to the euphoria of each moving, and stupendous concert. Thank you, All-State, for all you have given me.
Playing in the All State festival each year of high school was my start to an aspiring music career in Nashville, TN. The level of musicianship involved, the entire weekend of rehearsals and performing, being on a big campus and exploring Ames (coming from living in a small town of course) made the entire trip one of my favorite parts of high school.
The echo of the final chord of Maslanka's "Give Us This Day" in 2014 is unforgettable!
On audition day, I was selected on a call back my senior year. After auditioning every year of high school I was convinced I didn't have the chops. My high school choir director encouraged me and continued to work with our group and had faith that I would in fact make the choir. Her faith in us proved to be a life-changing event. I am convinced I wouldn't be where I am right now without that experience.
This is not a good memory, but I think you should be aware of it. In 1974, I auditioned, the results were posted indicating I had been accepted into the band. I left with my band director’s approval; he said he would pick up my music. Unfortunately all I got was a phone call from him saying there had been a mistake and I really hadn’t been accepted; I was the alternate. I was heartbroken. I hope this has never happened to anyone else, and if it has, it was handled better. I enjoyed the two years I did participate as a member of the orchestra. Our daughter also enjoyed her three-year all state band experience.
A percussion section of mostly girls! I was also selected to play a timpani solo and the timpani were on risers so I was really high up... a new experience for me because I’m only 5 feet tall.
Iowa All-State provided an experience that wouldn't have been possible solely through a choir in a small Iowa high school. Sharing that excellence when we got home made our local choir even better. I saved copies of the All-State pieces and used favorite ones with a highly successful community chorale I formed 17 years ago which is still going strong. The musical excellence continues even outside of Iowa in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho!
Thanks, Iowa All-State, for the solid start to a lifetime musical career!
This afternoon I was reminded of Iowa All-State 1975 as I walked by a wooden sign hanging in Mom's garage with the names of those who made it into All-State that year from LDF High School. It has probably hung there for 40 years!!!
What an experience we had! Much of the fun happened before we got there: all the early morning rehearsals, learning music we never thought possible, trying our best to please Mr. Allen Chapman and failing, dating someone in our quartet 😎... it was all good!
I've lived a lifetime as a professional musician, performer and educator. I look back and realize what a profound effect my experiences of preparing for, auditioning, and participating in the Iowa All-State Chorus had. At one point I even had the opportunity to be an All-State Choir judge, something I could never have imagined in high school.
One of my favorite things about All-State is that all of us are able to perform at an elite level so anytime we jam out on our free time as a group, it is always full of harmonies and sounds really good. For instance, last year we were jamming out in the commons of CY Stephens and sang “Blogodop” as if we had learned it yesterday, and it was awesome to be able to work as a team to reminisce about past festivals.
My high school didn't have an orchestra, so All-State was my first time ever playing with string instruments. The first thing we played at our very first rehearsal was the opening to the fourth movement of Dvorak's 9th symphony, and I'll never forget the sound of 20 string bases playing the minor second that opens that movement. It was truly incredible, and is one of my absolute favorite memories of my oboe career.
Simon Estes was the bass soloist and I just remember thinking how lucky I was to be part of this, as well as having Weston Noble conduct the band, choir and orchestra together. I also was fortunate to have Dale Mullholland autograph my copy of "Ode to Music!" I'm a choral teacher today and run the largest middle school choral program in Virginia. This experience was a large part of my formation and I'm so thankful.
Meeting people from across the state and towns I had never heard of. And the bagels every morning before rehearsal!
After being recalled my freshman, sophomore and junior years I finally made All-State my senior year, playing Flute 1. I also was selected to play Piccolo that year. Performing "America the Beautiful" under the direction of Weston Noble was definitely a highlight.
The concert came and was stunning (as always). When I met up with him after the concert, he thanked me a bunch and congratulated me on achieving four-year-member status. It was a really cool memory, as the conductor of any of the All-State ensembles hold a high pedestal in my book. Any responsibility from them feels like a special honor, and I was honored to have that! Shown is the picture he and I took afterwards.
Another memory I have is the euphonium section photo. For the last several years, it has become tradition for the euphonium section to take a photo right before the concert. This is taken by first chair. It's a great bonding moment, and it was really cool for me to have the honor to carry it out for three years! Hopefully this tradition continues throughout the years!
Happy All-State season everyone!
Right before the concert my senior year, Dr. Golemo, the conductor of the band that year, spotted me on the end of one of the rows. He came up to me and asked, "Hey, I have a really big favor to ask you. I don't have any pockets in this tux, and there's no safe place for me to put my wallet and keys. Would you mind holding onto them? I know I'm putting a lot of trust in someone I don't know, but it would be a big favor!" Shocked by the request, I happily agreed to hold onto them.
I have very fond memories of my All-State experience! I was awarded 1st chair tuba in 1992 AND 1993, and I am so proud of this accomplishment! I am also proud to have been present as we performed for the very first time "in the round" in 1993. What a wonderful program and experience available to our musical youth!
When our director decided to organize all 600 of us by birthday from January 1st to December 31st so we could meet our chorus birthday buddies during rehearsal, and also dancing along to "Cindy".
Being a part of the Allen Chapman era at Fort Madison HS was special enough, but being a part of the Iowa All-State Music Festival was a powerful part of my high school years. I had a year of not making the cut and then two years of the immense energy and pride that came from seeing the white paper unrolling with my name on it in black marker. It was such a delight to return to the Music Festival as an All-State parent in 2019 with my daughter, Lucy. It was thrilling to know that she has been able to perform with some of the best student musicians and to get this marvelous experience. While All-State weekend was all about Lucy, I had great fun digging through my box of high school memories to find my "I'm An All-Stater" bumper sticker to get a photo with Lucy and her bumper sticker. Thank you for putting on a great festival every year.
In 1990, Weston Noble was the chorus director and we sang "Cindy"...a hoedown song. He decided he wanted some dancers. There were about 20 of us that danced in the middle of the song, in checkered shirts and skirts, right in the middle of Hilton! It was so fun!
I met my college roommate at All-State. We sat next to each other for the entire festival and right before the final concert, we decided to request each other as roommates at Wartburg College (we were both seniors). We ended up living together, being very close friends, and traveling to Asia together with the wind ensemble in college. She was even a bridesmaid in my wedding...all because we sat together at All-State! :)
Singing under Dr. Daniel Moe's direction and changing one line of text in the Battle Hymn from "let us die to make men free" to "let us live to make men free." In the context of knowing that many of us there would soon be going to Vietnam, it was a very poignant moment.
One of my most treasured possessions is an All-State folder with the parts from all four of the festivals I was chosen for (34, 35, 36 and 37). I remember being floored at how many people played violin when I played All-State the first time, and there is absolutely nothing like the feeling of performing the Battle Hymn with that many people. I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to participate, and am proud that I had a couple of my own students chosen many years later. There is nothing like it! Congratulations on #75 and I wish you many, many more successful festivals!
There is nothing like being a part of the Iowa All State Festival and the chills you get when you are surrounded by outstanding talent working together to create sound and beauty.
I was a Senior in High School in 1988. I had been selected for All State the previous two years, and felt that my quartet had a really good chance to make it for my senior year. Audition weekend came and our audition went really well and our spirits were high. The names from my quartet were not on the recall list, and we just knew we had been accepted. When the final accepted list was posted, none of our names were on it. We were both shocked and crushed. My director was sure it had to be a mistake. He made some inquiries, and found our audition cards were accidentally put in the rejected pile instead of the recall pile. Our director went to bat for us and a few days later, they decided to accept our quartet. So that year, there were four more members than normal for the All State Chorus!
My favorite memory from all state was playing Pompeii.
Stories Through the years