Photo Courtesy of Jamie Groves
Each year, the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) hosted All State, a collection of students K-12 that form some of Florida’s top music ensembles.
“[I tried out for All State because] it is good for your resume in high school since it is the best band you can be in in middle school,” Kireina Kates, eighth grade piccolo player, said.
Tryouts took place from the Sep. 9 to the Sep. 23 and were held at middle schools across the state from Sep. 26, 2017 to Oct. 7, 2017. According to the FMEA, to try out, students have to have been in an All State performing ensemble and have to be enrolled/registered at a public school, private school, public charter school, home education music cooperative, or virtual school.
“[During tryouts] we first warmed up in the cafeteria,” Kates said. “Then we waited until our assigned time, when they called us in. We played seven scales, one big scale, and then we did sight reading (reading/playing a piece we do not know).
The results were available on the Nov. 6, 2017.
“[On the first day of All State] we have seating tryouts,” Coady said. “After that, we have rehearsal for songs we are working on.”
The All State Conference lasted for one week and took place from Jan. 11 to Jan. 13.
“[Last year at All State] we played a lot of songs most of the time,” William Wu, eighth grade, former All State saxophone player, said.
The concerts were held during the conference at the Marriott Waterside in Tampa. A total of 14 performances took place with the likes of the Intercollegiate Band, Guitar Ensemble, Men’s, Women’s, and Reading Chorus, high school and middle school Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and many other music groups performing.
“All State was a good experience,” Coady said. “It teaches discipline, helps us to stay focused on playing for that long, and it improves our playing skills a lot.”