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Wiles Elementary students earn All-State honors for music

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Wiles All-StateEight students from Wiles Elementary School have been selected as Florida All-State chorus and Orff musicians this year and will be performing in the Tampa Convention Center early next year.

Each student successfully auditioned for a spot in the highly-select ensembles. The All-State Elementary Chorus is made up of 163 students from public, charter and private schools throughout the state. The All-State Off Ensemble is made up of only 78 students statewide.

“I’m very proud of all of our Wiles musicians,” said their music teacher Carrie Olson. “They worked extremely hard to prepare for their auditions.”

For chorus students, the auditions included performing a vocal warm-up, tonal melodies, a partner song, and a prepared song, ‘Dona Nobis Pacem,’ which was performed a cappella (without accompaniment). The All-State chorus students are Quinn Curchy, Louisa McGargill, Race Neupane and Anabelle Vilaro. This is the second year McCargill and Curchy have been selected to the All-State Chorus.

To make the Orff ensemble the students had to sing a round and maintain their own part, perform a prepared piece on the alto xylophone, and perform a body percussion piece which included speech and a series of fast stomp, clap, pat and snap patterns. The All-State Orff students are Kayla Lenius, Claire Olson, Fiona Xu and Jessica Zou. This is also the second year that Xu has earned All-State honors.

“I think this audition process in itself has been a huge life lesson for many of them,” said Olson. “It’s so awesome to see how happy the students are with themselves when they go from self-doubt to mastery of technique and skill by not giving up, and then realizing that a positive mindset and perseverance is the key to their success.”

The All-State programs are sponsored by the Florida Music Educators Association. The ensembles will rehearse with their fellow All-state musicians and perform under the direction of professional conductors as part of the annual FMEA Professional Development Conference.