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For the first time in 15 years South Tama is sending not only one but two students to the Iowa All State Music Festival. Katie Husak and Joseph Withrow will join Iowa’s finest high school musicians for a concert on Saturday, November 23 at Hilton Collesium in Ames. Husak and Withrow auditioned for the chance to partipate in the All State Music Festival on Saturday, October 26. Husak plays the clarinet while Withrow plays the french horn. The actual audition process is pretty quick. It’s just around five minutes according to Husak. She was up first for STC at 10 a.m. She played a solo of her choice and two A-tudes selected randomly by the judges. Musicians also had to memorize 12 of the major scales, the chromatic scale, another scale of their choice and another scale selected by the judges. “Hearing other clarinets in the hallway was the scariest thing because they are all so amazing. It’s intimidating but I went in there and had a pretty good audition,” said Husak. Finding out they made it to the festival rolled out in a sort of dramatic fashion. About an hour after Husak auditioned students waited in a gym as sheets of paper were placed on a wall and names were revealved for a recall. Twelve were called back on each instrument and out of the twelve, ten were selected. Then when it’s time to announce who made it a lift machine raises somone in the air and they roll down large sheets of paper to reveal the names of who is going on to the festival. “When you see your name up there it’s so exciting,” said Husak. “The whole gym gets quiet. No one knows for sure when they are going to announce who made it,” said Withrop. When he saw his name Withrop said he jumped up and down and had friends beside him cheering for him. “We were all hugging each other. It was so exciting. I felt great!” said Withrop. To make the days events even more exciting, Withrop performed his audition with a broken arm. He tripped after a music rehearsal about a week before the auditions and cracked his radial bone. There was a little bit of nervousness about whether he could go ahead with the audition but once he picked up his intrument and began playing he realized it didn’t effect him too much. Five STC students participated in this years All State auditions. “It’s so fun because not only the two who made it but the five we took have been looking forward to All-State auditions for quite awhile. It’s like what I would envision running a marathon race and envisioning crossing the finish line. It’s not something you work for just a few weeks for it’s something they have been working on for years. The day itself is like crossing a finish line of a long race and showing what you’ve got prepared and ready to do your thing. It’s full of excitement and it’s full of nerves,” said band director Mike Carnahan. Husak and Withrop attended the auditions last year to just see what the environment was like. Carnahan felt that the trip their 8th grade year paid off. “You walk into a gym literally full of musicians practicing their instruments, practicing their A-Tudes, practicing their solo and scales and it’s very intimidating,” said Carnahan. Despite the nerves Carnahan felt everyone was prepared and confident for their auditions. Husak and Withrop have dedicated hours of practice to get to where they are. They each practice their respective instruments everyday for an hour or more. “I’m still amazed and shocked however I’m not knowing these two students and how much time they have put into it,” said Carnahan. Practice for the big day is already underway. Husak and Withrop received their music following the audition. They will be playing Battle Hymn of the Republic, For Splendid Glory, Pompei, Rest for Concert Band and British March. They will have chair auditions on November 21 and will practice all day on November 22. For both of the young musicians being a part of the STC Band Programs have already taken them to some great places. Husak said the opportunies that band provides are vast. They both have a true love of music. When not playing Husak will listen to almost any type of music. Withrop prefers video game music which he says is largely orchestral. “I recommend this for anyone who wants to push themselves. It’s a great experience,” said Husak. What makes this All-State accomplishment even more special is that Husak and Withrop are both freshman. “I am just ecstatic that South Tama has two students representing our students and school. This is a big deal,” said Carnahan. While it was thrilling for Carnahan to have two make All-State the true reward for Carnahan was watching the students support one another. “I look at us as I mean making it to All-state is an individual goal for that student, it doesn’t have to be a school or program goal. Obviously we want to get the students to that level but I look at more what being in a group like band brings to the student. So that may be even more rewarding to me as hard as that is to say as getting kids in,” said Carnahan.

 
 
 

 

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