Some of the "brightest and best"

GRHS students perform in All State Band and Choir

Making it to the State level in any competition is an impressive accomplishment, and band and choir are no exception.

This week several Green River High School students had the honor of performing at the All State Music Festival in Casper in the All State Band and All State Choir.

Band Director Quinn Kalinski presented to the Sweetwater County School District No. 2 Board during their January 9 meeting to introduce and honor the students who made it into these groups.

"Every year the band and choir students have the opportunity to audition for these honor ensembles," Kalinski explained. "They're quite a strenuous audition process which involves weeks of preparing, and then they walk into a room with a table and get one shot at it and then roll the dice and see what happens."

Once the students audition and are chosen, they spend two or three weeks practicing and preparing. This year the students had to travel to Casper for two full days of rehearsals before their concert performance Tuesday evening.

"They perform with kids from all over the state who've made this group," Kalinski noted.

The All State Band was made up of 141 students from 31 high schools. The All State Choir was made up of 160 students from 33 high schools across Wyoming.

"So it's a stressful situation at a high level, and these wonderful students have made it this year," Kalinski told the school board.

Two GRHS students made it into the All State Band. Rylie Johnson made it in playing the flute, and it is her second year participating in All State. Dalan Owens made it in for his first year and will be playing the tuba. There is also an All State Jazz Ensemble, which Hailey Johnson is participating in for her first year, and she will be playing the drums.

Four students were selected for the All State Choir, with Beth Figenser singing Alto 2, Katelyn Tanner singing Alto 1, and Abigail Smith and Laural Kurth singing Soprano 1.

"These are some of our brightest and best," Kalinski said of the students participating in All State Music, describing them as a "wonderful group of students."

One of the students will not only be competing at the State level, but also at an even more prestigious regional level.

Laural Kurth was selected for this year's All Northwest Choir, which "is an auditioned choir made up of some of the best choral students throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming," Kalinski explained, reading a letter on behalf of GRHS Choir Director Danielle Forbush.

The All Northwest Choir will spend two days rehearsing in Spokane, Washington and will perform in a concert at the Regional Music Educators Conference in February.

"This is a great honor for Laural and it gives her a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to sing with students throughout the region and experience working with a nationally-recognized director clinician," Forbush wrote in the letter.

Since attending and participating in the All Northwest Choir requires paying fees and travel expenses, the board voted to pay the registration fee of $250 and give an additional $175, which was to be taken out of board's discretionary funds.


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