Brightest musicians heading to all-state festival

Hours of hard work resulted in successful auditions for several area high school musicians who have qualified for the 2013 All-State Music Festival. It is the highest individual honor for an Iowa high school musician.

The festival features a 281-piece band, 201-piece orchestra and 602-member chorus, featuring the brightest musicians in the state.

Marshalltown High School is sending 11 students, including eight in the chorus and three in band.

All-state chorus qualifiers from MHS include Allyson Biggs, Joe Cahill, Libby Crawford, Frank Iole, Bryce King, Liz Russell, Carlos Woerner and Brenda Zavala-Livengood.

Amy Ose, vocal music director at MHS, said this is the most they have had qualify for the chorus in at least 15 years.

“It’s amazing and such an honor for them,” Ose said. “They put in the time and effort into preparing for auditions.”

Russell is one of the returning all-state students in the chorus.

“It’s a wonderful experience and I’m so glad to be able to go back,” Russell said.

All-state band qualifiers from MHS were Analisa Iole in the clarinet, Ellen Podhajsky in the flute and Abigail Stone in the alto clarinet. Sam Johnson is an all-state alternate on percussion from MHS.

Iole and Stone are returning qualifiers from the band.

“I’m glad to be accepted for another year,” Iole said. “I like to be able to hear the best musicians in the state.”

Ella Wicks, a senior at North Tama High School in Traer, made the all-state chorus as a soprano.

South Hardin High School sophomore Ben Stanish made the all-state band in the cornet while sister and South Hardin freshman Laura Stanish made the orchestra in the flute. The siblings from Eldora are both first-time all-state qualifiers.

The qualifying tryouts were held Saturday throughout the state with approximately 17 percent of the students who tryout making it to all-state.

The students will perform in the festival concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 in Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University. Tickets are $18. For ticket information, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or visit