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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

What exactly is CBDA all-state?

Every+year%2C+Amador+musicians+consistently+show+their+presence+in+Californias+bands+and+orchestras.
Tanmayee Chalamalasetti
Every year, Amador musicians consistently show their presence in California’s bands and orchestras.

Every year, thousands of students across California audition for All-State, a prestigious group of orchestras that are led and mentored by renowned professors and conductors. The application process, however, is not easy. 

“It’s challenging [to get into All State], because you’re competing against people from all over the state, and there are a lot of really talented musicians out there, [but] it’s a really cool opportunity to meet other musicians, and talk to other conductors,” said percussionist Megan Tu (25).

This year, Amador had the most acceptances from most of the bands on campus, with 16 students making the NCBA All Northern region honor band. 

“This year, out of all the schools in California, we are one of the schools with the most students who made it into the group. So we’re really proud of everyone there,” said Matthew Fell, assistant band director. “The all state conference is the beginning of February, and the students get to work with college professors. They’re in these honor bands, and they rehearse for 3 days and then they have a concert in Sacramento that weekend. We’re very excited for all of that.”

Students must be enrolled in a band, choir, or orchestra through their respective school, but no nomination is needed. In previous years, a limit was in place for the number of students permitted to audition, but now, anyone is free to try out.  

“All state is a statewide audition-based honor band. There are actually 4 levels of concert band, as well as a couple levels of orchestra and choir and other things, and it’s something that we encourage our students to audition for every year. It’s not mandatory, but we are really proud that we have a good number of students that are involved each year,” said Fell. 

Students work all year to prepare for their auditions, sometimes using their free time during the summer to practice and perfect their pieces.

“My application process kind of started in the summer. That’s when we received the music for the audition, so I began practicing in June and July. I started recording then, with my percussion instructor, and then there were about five or six recordings of different excerpts and scales and stuff. So yeah, I just recorded those and then I had to send them in by November,” said Tu.

Amador’s band also uses future All State audition pieces as inspiration for their repertoire, allowing students to become familiar with the music ahead of time. “We do use the all state audition music for the following year as our music for the wind ensembles, so this spring we will have the wind ensemble students learn, prepare, and play for us next year’s audition music,” said Fell.

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