Kennedy Musicians Head to All-State


Jason Kline

All-State qualifiers pose for a photo in Kennedy foyer after the decisions have been released.

On Oct. 22, Kennedy Musicians gathered at Independence High School to audition for the annual Iowa All-State Band, Orchestra or Choir.

The vocalists who were accepted are Elizabeth Goff, Raiya Hurt, Jacob Twombley and Owen Kilgore. The band students accepted this year are Charlotte Ottermoler, Amelia Basler, Jersey Bilyeu, Delaney Steenblock, Luke Wedel, Ian Burrback, Erin Renshaw and Camden Neff as an alternate. Griffin Bieber was accepted for the orchestra.

“The atmosphere when auditioning is intense. It’s a mixture of you being in control of the room, the judge pressuring you and your mind overthinking everything,” said sophomore and All-State Clarinetist Delaney Steenblock.

Steenblock went into the classroom immediately after the person before her as a solo audition. The judges had her do her solo audition piece, as well as scales. She was assessed for roughly 10-15 minutes.

“Meanwhile your heart is racing, you’re anxious and all you hope is that you show how good of a player you are,” Steenblock said.

Depending on which instrument they play, students may go in a group or individually. Every audition varies. For choir students, they auditioned in a group ranging from two to four people. For band and orchestra, auditions vary depending on the instrument.

“So the process of it, auditioning, practicing, it starts off, you know, you just learn music and then you get pulled into groups as you go along with either just your group or teachers that come help you.” said Jacob Twombley, senior and All-State Tenor One.

Leading up to his audition Twombley had practiced every day for the two weeks beforehand. He’d repeatedly listen to his notes and sing his part for hours on end.

“The atmosphere when auditioning I would say it was really fun. There’s a lot of friendly people you’ll meet and a lot of people will help you. Everybody there wants to help you, and help you become successful.” Twombley said.

The accepted students will be participating in the All-State Musical Festival Nov. 19 in Ames, Iowa.