What is it?  The Texas Music Educators Association hosts the annual All-State Choir audition process.  Students in grades 9-12 compete against singers from across the state on their respective voice part vying for a spot in either the Texas All-State Mixed Choir, Texas All-State Treble Choir, or the Texas All-State Men’s Choir.  The audition process usually begins in September with a series of auditions, the final audition occurring the first Saturday in January.


    How much will it cost? The audition fee is a one time cost of $20.  Also, many students opt to attend summer camps that have various costs.  It is recommended that students take private voice lessons during the summer and school year.  Voice lessons provided during the school day cost $20 per half hour on a weekly basis.  Summer lessons vary in cost depending on the voice teacher.  Please contact Mr. Rives for more information about private voice.


    How much time does it take? A man on his way to a concert asked a passerby “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” the man’s reply: “Practice, Practice, Practice!”  Yes, the best way to make the All-State choir is to practice more than your competition.  Summer lessons and summer camps are a great start.  When school starts in August we will have  8:00 AM – 8:35 AM practice once a week on Wednesday mornings.  I encourage all auditioners to practice at least 30 minutes everyday on their music and sight-reading.  Also, Mr. Thompson will work with auditioners individually and in groups during their choir class.


    When does this all happen?  Here are the All-State dates for 2019:


    • August 30th, Deadline for $20 audition fee
    • September 21st Phase One Audition, Lewisville HS
    • October 21st & 22nd, Region Auditions, Flower Mound HS
    • November 9th, Region 2 Clinic and Concert at TWU
    • November 19th, Pre-Area Auditions, Northwest HS
    • January 11th, Area Auditions, Texas A&M Commerce
    • February 12th-15th, TMEA Convention in San Antonio


    What about the camps?  The RHS choir department encourages students to attend at least one summer camp.  With the late start of school and the amount of music to be learned, summer camps will be critical to properly prepare the music for the first audition.  
    How do I get the music? Music packets should be available after Memorial Day.   Packets should be purchased at Pender's Music Company in Denton and cost about $20.  Also, the ever important All-State rehearsal tracks will be available later in the summer.  When they arrive, Mr. Rives will send out an email with instructions on how to get your rehearsal tracks.  One track will have the voice part being sung, the other will have only the piano accompaniment.  The accompaniment only track is the one used in the auditions.


    How do the auditions work? Students will sing a portion of two or three songs from the list of all-state music called a “cut”.  They will sing the cut by themselves for a group of five judges who are hidden behind a screen.  The judges consider the knowledge of the music and quality of singing and rank students from highest to lowest.  All students will also sight-read a short line of music.  Students are given 30 seconds to study the line and then sight sing the exercise.  The scoring is on a 300 point scale using Olympic scoring system (drop the highest and lowest scores and average the rest).


    Do I have a chance to make it?  It is very difficult to make the All-State choir.  Over 15,000 students start the process in August and only about 350 make an All-State choir.  Although the odds seem very long, Ryan HS has a great history of placing students in the All-State and All-Region choirs.  All-Region and the new 9/10 All-Region choirs are great honor as well and worthy goal,s especially for younger singers in the process.


    Is it worth all this time and effort?  First off, it doesn’t take that much time and effort.  Consistent practice is the key to success.  But yes, it is very much worth the time and effort.  Even if a student does not make the first audition, the lessons learned and the vocal growth that will occur will improve the individual singer.  Students that make the Region choir will enjoy the experience of working with an excellent clinician and singing with talented and music loving students from around the area.  Students that make the All-State choir will be recognized as dedicated and high quality musicians.  All-State singers get to work with a renowned All-State clinician, meet likeminded and highly talented students from across the State, be a part of the largest music convention in the world, and parents, don’t forget college night, where universities from all over the country recruit All-State performers with scholarships, an awesome All-State Concert attended by every choir director in the State of Texas, and, best of all, this is paid for by DISD.  Yes, it is worth all the time and effort.


    I’m still not sure…  Contact Mr. Rives and we’ll talk about it and make sure that All-State auditions are right for you.  This is a wonderful experience if approached with the right attitude and work ethic.  Please contact me during the summer at drives@dentonisd.org, 940-369-3075.