All State-Choir members look towards the future

To get into the All-State choir, there are four rounds of auditions — the first was on Sept. 25. There are two region auditions and then pre-area and area that narrow the list down. Then, in February, the All-State choir convention — as well as the band and orchestra convention — takes place in San Antonio. “The Hawk Eye” asked returning and new choir members about their experiences with All-State — here’s what they had to say:


Audrey Shin

Junior Audrey Shin is the alto section leader and made the mixed choir in All-State last year. Shin made All-State her freshman and sophomore year and plans to try out this year as well.

Photo by Caleb Wright

“Whenever I found out I made All-State freshman year, I never thought that could be me,” Shin said. “I feel like the younger you are, the more special it is. As I get older, it’s still special, but it will never be as special as when I first made it.”

In All-State there are three different choirs you can get into, treble choir, mixed choir and tenor bass choir. Shin said the auditions can be stressful with all the pressure to make it year after year.

“It’s not only about making All-State that makes it worth it, but what you learn about yourself and your voice,” Shin said. “I’m really grateful that I have had this opportunity and that I was actually able to make it. The burden [of making it again] is what pushes me to make all-state every year and to do better than last year. If you make it or not, it will all be worth it when you discover yourself and your passion for music.”

With the pandemic affecting the process last year, the auditions were all virtual. This year, the auditions are being held in-person. 

“[Last year, auditions were] a lot less stressful since we were able to record our audition as many times as we wanted,” Shin said. “At the same time, it was also more stressful since you know in-person, your one chance is one and done, while online, you can do better so you re-record over and over again.”

All-State has taught Shin a lot about what she wants for her future after high school. She used to want to go into the medical field growing up, but since participating in All-State, has found out that is not what she wants anymore.

“Before All-State, I chose choir because I didn’t have anything better to do, but now I can’t imagine myself without music,” Shin said. “It’s taught me a lot about my true passions and who I am.”


Jackson Fowers

Photo by Caleb Wright

Senior Jackson Fowers is the student director for the bass choir this year. Fowers made All-State sophomore year.

“I’m really excited this year because I didn’t make it last year, so I’m really hoping to get in this year and do the best I can,” Fowers said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how the other basses do, and I hope with my help and their drive, we will see success. Maybe [we could] have a few more basses make All-State this year, which would be awesome to see.”

The virtual auditions last year were a big change for most students trying out for All-State.

“I was really excited for everyone who had made it, [but] unfortunately, it was almost worse for the people who did make it,” Fowers said. “A few weeks after people got chosen, they got the news that the convention was not gonna be held in person. I felt bad for them, but it was motivation for me to do better this year.”

Fowers attended the Texas Music Educators Association convention as a sophomore and is working hard to get into All-State to go again for his last year.

“I remember when I was at the convention, it was probably my favorite experience of high school,” Fowers said. “Being able to sing with all these other [students] from around the state was such a memorable experience.”


Ainsley Carmichael

Photo by Caleb Wright

Senior Ainsley Carmichael is the choir president and was in the All-State treble choir last year. Carmicheal made All-State her junior year during the pandemic and is auditioning for a spot this year. 

“It’s kind of crazy since we didn’t have a convention at all last year, and I had never made [All-State before],” Carmichael said. “Hopefully, the process of auditions will be OK this year, and hopefully they will host a convention.”

Last year’s All-State choir was very different than previous years since it was completely virtual instead of the normal singing alongside other members. 

“The auditions weren’t that difficult, because you got to do it over again [until] you got it right,” Carmichael said. “But it was mentally difficult because we didn’t have much to work toward. We didn’t know if we were going to get the chance to sing in a choir or go to a convention and sing with people.”

While in All-State choir, members get to meet many people from around the state who are just as interested in choir as they are. With the pandemic canceling her in-person experience, Carmichael got to know people in All-State better.

“Since we didn’t get to go to the convention, I found it interesting getting to know more people at our school,” Carmichael said. “I got to know everyone I was working with better because we were all going through the same struggles and working toward the same goals.”

For Carmichael, being in All-State is more than just going to the convention and getting the chance to sing with other schools. 

“I want to go into [a] vocal performance [career], and all the auditions I’ve been through will help me when I need to audition [in the future],” Carmichael said. “All-State has also taught me to persevere and push through even though I might not want to.”