SING OFF. Freshman Robert Cohenstrom performs at the chorus concert. photo/ Sloan Warranch
SING OFF. Freshman Robert Cohenstrom performs at the chorus concert. photo/ Sloan Warranch

Seniors Jessica Bishop and Taylor Groves and freshman Robert Cohenstrom auditioned to earn a spot in the Florida All-state Chorus.

All-state choruses, highly selective, according to participants, features groups of middle and high school students, who rehearse and perform music together. The selection process consists of sight reading, a written exam and a vocal audition.

“To prepare for my audition, I developed a routine. There are a lot of practice tracks online, which I studied all on my own,” Jessica Bishop said.

Bishop made All-state Chorus last year and hopes to again. Balancing piano, schoolwork and chorus proved a difficult task, but she overcame, knowing what to expect her second time around.

Chorus teachers Jussi Doherty and Abigail Noble pre-screen students to see if they can pass the written test. Those who pass the written portion attend after-school practice sessions.

Doherty, who also performed in All-state chorus in high school, knows how to coach and mentor his students for the audition.

“The most important piece of advice I can give is the best preparation for the All-state audition is to just do them. There is no substitute for that kind of pressure,” Doherty said.

Cohenstrom did not know what to expect for his first audition. He studied music vocabulary and practiced sight reading skills to prepare.

“During my audition, I learned certain music theory terms, as well as the names and personalities of other students auditioning. It was truly a memorable experience. My favorite part was probably the aftermath. Although I do not know if I made it, there was rigorous preparation and I know it finally paid off,” Cohenstrom said.

Students will know the status of their audition in late November. The All-state chorus students perform on Jan. 11-14, 2017, in Tampa.

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