Chorus of approval: Three GSHS students perform with All-State Choir
Glenwood Springs High School choir director Jeannie Miller is singing the praises of three outstanding choir members.
Sarah Gabriel, Ashley Holtum and Lauren Hendee were recently selected for the Colorado High School All-State Choir. The honor is the highest bestowed in the state on a high school choral member.
Gabriel, a junior, sings soprano, senior Ashley Holtum sings alto, and senior Lauren Hendee sings soprano.
The three All-State members are also members of the GSHS Honor Choir.
Holtum, the daughter of Christine Aronson and Terry Ewbank of Glenwood Springs, has grown up surrounded by the theater. She wants to study theatre and music at the college level in the future, but plans to major in another field.
Hendee, the daughter of Donna and Bob Hendee of Glenwood Springs, is a “Defiance kid,” and has performed with the Defiance Community Theatre group, most recently playing the lead role in “Cinderella.” She sang in the recent performance of “Messiah,” and hopes to pursue a degree in music education at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
Gabriel, the daughter of Pat and Lou Gabriel of Glenwood Springs, still has a year of high school before she decides what to do. However, she said, “I would like to get involved in music or theater at a Colorado school.”
Of the more than 2,000 junior and senior students who try out, only about 450 are selected for the annual honor, according to Miller. “This is something we are very proud of.”
The event was held Feb. 3-5 at Colorado State University, and involved three days of intense rehearsals with choir members from throughout the state, culminating in a sold-out performance at the 1,180-seat Lincoln Center in Fort Collins.
The competition, held last fall, was intense, said Miller.
Students first prepared a selected piece, either an aria or an art song. Before a judge, they performed that piece, sang major and minor scales, sight-read an unfamiliar piece, sang triads and did an oral recall, which involves listening to a piece and then performing it.
Then there’s a very anxious wait, said Miller.
Once selected, singers must learn the music for the All-State Choir performance. “It’s all amazingly difficult music – college level music,” said Miller.
Before they can perform as a member of the All-State Choir, students must first prove that they can perform the music at the high level that is expected of them, said Miller. As soon as they arrive, they have another tryout.
Then the rehearsals begin. “These are intense rehearsals,” said Miller. Students train and rehearse under doctorate-level conductors.
“They learn so much about music,” said Miller.
In addition to the performance at the Lincoln Center, tickets are also sold for the choir’s dress rehearsal.
Miller said that final performances are highly emotional for the young singers, and that the three girls handled themselves tremendously well.
Several of her junior and senior choir members auditioned for the honor, said Miller. “They all worked very hard, very hard, toward acceptance and deserve recognition for that,” she said.
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