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Students in the 2020 All State Chorus sang under Dr. Jefferson Johnson from the University of Kentucky, with Dr. Chris Fowler at the piano. Photo courtesy David Hanks

Each year, middle and high school students from public, private and home schools across Georgia have gone through a rigorous audition process to be selected for the prestigious honor of being chosen as an All-State singer. Concerns over COVID prompted the cancellation of last year’s decades-old event. After a two-year hiatus, the Georgia Music Educators Association will once again hold its in-person Georgia All-State Chorus from Thursday, Feb. 17, through Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Classic Center in Athens.

The weekend-long choral clinic provides the opportunity for students to sit under the batons of choral directors from across the U.S., rehearsing and performing advanced level music for their grade level. The event will culminate in a collaborative concert presented before an audience of more than 2,000 parents, music educators and choral enthusiasts from across the state. 

The first audition for All-State Chorus occurs in early November and requires students to sing a pre-selected Italian aria or English art song from memory, demonstrate their intonation and pitch accuracy by singing major, minor and chromatic scales with only a starting pitch to prompt them, and sing an eight-measure example of challenging intervals and rhythms at first sight with only 30 seconds to glance over the piece. 

After scores have been collected from the various audition sites throughout the state and collated through the state office, a cutoff score is determined by how many singers from each voice part will be accepted at each of the three grade-based levels (middle school, ninth and 10th and 11th and 12th). 

Those making the cut advance to the second audition, which is a proficiency check for students’ ability to sing the actual high level music chosen for the event itself. The music doesn’t have to be memorized, but students must have prepared at least 70% of the notes and rhythms prior to final acceptance into the group. Due to inclement weather in many northern counties, the second audition was cancelled, and all students who made the first cut were accepted for the 2022 All-State Chorus.

Area schools have released the names of their students selected for this high honor. 

Buford Middle School seventh grader Vincenzo Fuoco achieved a perfect score at the first audition. Buford High School’s Samuel Son, a junior, joined chorus for the first time this school year. After only three months in chorus, Son auditioned and was selected as an All-State Chorus member. Buford High School’s Aria Mason, a senior and hopeful future choral director, also earned a perfect score.

The following students will represent their respective schools at the 2022 All-State Chorus:

From Buford High School

  • Dylan Appling
  • Iyanu Banks
  • Rachel Brody
  • Maggie Dale
  • Aria Mason
  • Teresa Moody
  • Tanner Moon
  • Geo Nam
  • Mauricio Garduño-Rea
  • Luke Riza
  • Samuel Son

Director: Taylor Greer

From Buford Middle School

  • James Coltrin 
  • Chloe Dale 
  • Grayson Feyko 
  • Vincenzo Fuoco
  • Ashlyn Henderson 
  • Leah Kim 
  • Piper Leonard 
  • Amelia Lister 
  • Celia Lowery 
  • Lilly Naderi 
  • Cadence Rickards 
  • Sophia Skelton 
  • Liliy Small 
  • Zoe Smith 
  • Ella Wiginton 
  • James Williams

Director: Merideth Drake

From Dacula High School

  • Jack Gentry 
  • Romain Luben 
  • Emily Torres 
  • Brandon Tyson 

Directors: James Williams and Kim Maugans

From Lanier High School

  • Adam Beaumont
  • Sophia Cuevas
  • Lily Jones
  • Cameron Loft
  • Caleb Napier
  • Will Napier

Director: Rebekah Castner

From Lanier Middle School

  • Zainab Sesay

Director: Allison Collier

From Mill Creek High School

  • Julianne Archer
  • Natalie Archer
  • Alexandria Burkingstock
  • Nathan Curtis
  • E. Quinn Dillard
  • Margaret Ezell 
  • Joshua Fraze
  • Ellie Gray
  • Ryleigh Jenkins
  • Elijah Johnson
  • Kailey Keenon
  • David Lawrence
  • Gabriel Lawrence
  • Kaylee Oh
  • Kayla Park
  • Holly Smith
  • Brenna Stoltz
  • Phoebe Yoon

Director: Stephanie Archer

From North Gwinnett High School

  • Caroline Brubaker
  • Danica Huang
  • Audrey Jung
  • Nathaniel Keller
  • Neelav Kharel
  • Charlotte Lindsey
  • Megan Magas
  • Sophia Munch
  • Claire Park
  • Seonyu Park
  • Joshua Yang

Director: John Wright

From North Gwinnett Middle School

  • Ashley Ahn
  • Charissa Choi
  • Olivia Ji
  • Madison Lassiter
  • Serene Li
  • Allison Maher
  • Carlos Santiago-Bernis
  • Shobhita Suri
  • Emily Yoo

Director: Kimberly Eason

The following high school students were selected through a separate, blind audition to participate in the 2022 All-State Sight Reading Choir held at the GMEA In-Service conference in late January. To earn a spot in this elite group, these students were able to sight-sing college level examples of music, demonstrating an advanced musical proficiency. 

During the event, students were given a packet of approximately 100 choral octavos, which they sang through at first sight during the weekend clinic’s rehearsal sessions. The GMEA conference weekend ended with a performance by the All-State Sightreading Choir, during which the conductor saved a surprise piece of music for the students to sight-sing before the audience of approximately 500 in Athens.

The following students will represent their respective schools: 

From Buford High School

  • Geo Nam

Director: Taylor Greer

From North Gwinnett High School

  • Nathaniel Keller

Director: John Wright

From Mill Creek High School 

  • Julianne Archer
  • Sophia Carlton
  • E. Quinn Dillard
  • Joshua Fraze
  • Elijah Johnson
  • Holly Smith

Director: Stephanie Archer

FEATURED PHOTO: Students in the 2020 All-State Chorus sang under the direction of Dr. Jefferson Johnson from the University of Kentucky, with Dr. Chris Fowler, fine arts coordinator for Buford City Schools, at the piano. Photo courtesy of David Hanks. 

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