Auditions for the much anticipated All State Music Festival, attended by the best of Hollis Brookline vocalists every year, are coming up this month. The festival consists of a concert later in the year, where anyone can purchase a ticket and watch the talented singers do their thing!
Matthew Barbosa, the choir teacher at HBHS, tells how there has been a shift in how he will run auditions this year. Although auditioning for All State is no longer mandatory, he still still highly encourages it. “There is an expectation that if you’re in an honors-level, performing ensemble that you are auditioning for honors-capable opportunities. So, nearly all of our honors choir members are auditioning,” said Barbosa.
Madison Kepnes ‘20 explains the requirements, as a veteran of the elite choir. “You have to learn an Italian aria [an opera performed in Italian], and you also have to do a sight reading. And the sight reading has two parts, rhythm and tone accuracy… you have to do that on the spot,” said Kepnes.
Darcy Hinkle ‘21 is a member of honors choir, and is planning to audition for her second year of All State. She says that the judges are paid to give the students a page of written feedback after their audition. “So, regardless of how well we score [out of 100], we get an improvement plan for next year,” said Hinkle. With the feedback from the experienced judges, the students that got through the auditions can take the time between the fall auditions, and the concert in the spring to improve their techniques and nuances.
Additionally, within those who make All State, there are two different choirs. The treble choir is all sopranos and altos, and is usually mostly female because those voice parts are those of a higher range. And the mixed choir, which is people of all voice parts, male and female. You are placed in either one or the other.
Auditions, on Nov. 17, lead up to the festival in April, which is held at the Concord Performing Arts Center, and tickets are available on the New Hampshire Music Educators Association’s website website starting after the auditions conclude.