Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Super Bowl Comes Early

Viper Students Selected to Rehearse and Perform with Top Musicians at All-State

For band, chorus, and orchestra students in schools around Florida, All-State is the Super Bowl of music performances.

In January, the Florida Music Educators' Association (FMEA) will host a Professional Development Conference at the Tampa Convention Center which will showcase some of the greatest musicians in the state.

According to the FMEA website, the annual event is one of the largest music education professional development events in the United States. Attendees include secondary music directors, elementary music teachers, music supervisors, college music teachers, school administrators, and nearly 3,000 students performing in the All-State ensembles.

In an honor considered as prestigious in the K-12 music universe as Super Bowl MVP is in the world of sports, six extraordinarily talented Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School students were selected to participate in All-State.

Brianna Bradley, an 8th grader, had mixed feelings about learning she had been selected for All-State's Middle School Mix Choir. "I was really happy but I was also upset because one of my good friends didn't make it," she said. "I wanted to be able to go through this experience with her."

Despite the disappointment, Brianna is looking forward to her first trip to All-State. "The best part is it lets everyone know that I work hard to get to where I am. I want to work hard so I can be the best singer I can be."

Ciera Paul, a 12th grader, made the All-State Women's Choir. "I consider myself pretty manly when it comes to how I sing," she said with a smile.

The heightened quality of musical talent is compelling to Ciera. "All-State is a great experience because you're around people with the same passion as you have and with people who have worked as hard as you have to get to where you are. You know everyone is going to be trying their best."

Much as she loves it, heading to All-State isn't just about the music. "I'm looking forward to the gourmet lollipops sold in the convention center," Ciera joked. "There's blueberry cheesecake and Caribbean dream. I bought 75 of them last year."

Sara Flanigan, an 11th grader, also made the All-State Women's Choir. "It's not often you get an opportunity like this," she said. "All-State is a giant learning experience. I'm looking forward to the actual performance itself. Getting on stage, performing, and having that sense of achievement and knowing all of that hard work has paid off. The audience will love it."

Norman McCorvey, a 12th grader, will be attending All-State for the 5th time. He will be participating in the Reading Choir. "It requires participants to read music spontaneously," he said. "After we finish one piece, we get another one. On the stage, we have to be able to look at the music for the first time and just start singing."

Norman credits Space Coast's Choral Director and Junior Orchestra Director, Mr. Michell Avey, with helping him and other students maximize their potential as musicians. "Mr. Avey is tough on his students in the sense that he wants them to reach their potential," said Norman. "He gives students a lot of feedback and really wants them to excel."

"Mr. Avey has been really helpful," said Sara. "He points out the areas you did well and also helps pinpoint what you need to improve to get better."

"They've worked extremely hard," said Mr. Avey. "I'm proud of all of them. They'll be in an environment where every single person is passionate about music. It's just a caliber of musicianship that you only experience a few times in your life."

The skills students learn at All-State will also open up leadership opportunities. "It's a great way for students to learn new techniques from the directors they're working with," said Mr. Avey. "They are the ambassadors for our program and will be taking back these strategies to use them as leaders in the classroom to further our program."

Adelle Paltin, a 9th grader who has played the violin for four and a half years, is going to All-State for the first time. "I am super excited," she said. "I'm excited about playing harder music, seeing more and more challenging pieces, and getting to play with people who are a much higher level than I am so I know what to strive for in the future."

It has not been missed on Adelle just how much support she has received from several key teachers.

Ms. Christina Cuny is Space Coast's Band Director. "Ms. Cuny is very supportive," said Adelle. "She wants you to achieve big goals like making All-State."

Mrs. Linda Waid also works closely with developing the skills of orchestra students. "Mrs. Waid helps me prepare the music and gives me constructive criticism to help me get better," said Adelle.

Working with a local music instructor, Mr. Casey Moorman, has also benefited Adelle's growth as a violinist. "Taking private lessons with Mr. Moorman has been one of the best decisions I've ever made," said Adelle. "He helps me try things that I've never done before. He prepares me with better music and more skills. He encourages me to audition more to get my name out there so people know what I'm capable of doing."

Adelle isn't the only student who has a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. Moorman. "Mr. Moorman is a very kind man," said Norman. "He is amazing. He is one the best violinists I know."

Paul Rigolini, a 12th grader, made All-State High School Band. He plans to attend college and pursue a career in music education. "I've always loved music," he said. "I'm excited about All-State." 

Ms. Cuny is proud of what her students have accomplished. "Both Adelle and Paul have worked very hard to be chosen to represent Space Coast in the Honor Groups," she said. "It's a great privilege and I know they will represent us well."

A harmonic truth: Space Coast's MVPs of music will be ready for super All-Star performances.

Stay current with Space Coast Jr./Sr. High at Space Coast Edline.

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