Five Cobblers Make All-State Orchestra for Fourth Time

Cobbler musicians continue to shine with All-State Orchestra selections.

By Brandon Gabert

Five of Central’s orchestra students have recently been accepted into the South Dakota All State Orchestra for their fourth consecutive year. Alexandria Anderson, Alec Doyle, Brandon Gabert, Avery Massey, and Iain Thomas are all excited about playing in the orchestra for their fourth and final year. “ASO is one of those events that shoots by before you can fully appreciate it,” Alec Doyle said, “and this will be my last year. It’s somewhat sad. There’s a total of like 200 rehearsal hours involved, but after that’s over you feel like you could do it all again right now.” All five seniors will receive an award for their accomplishment when they go to Sioux Falls this weekend.

In addition to the 4 year all-staters, 21 of Central’s other orchestra students have earned their spot in the 67th Annual South Dakota All-State Orchestra. The students who are now participants in the orchestra are as follows:

  • 1st Violin: Iain Thomas (2nd Chair), Faith Stevens (3), Brady Riker (4), Miya Kuroiwa (7), Alexandria Anderson (11), Brandon Gabert (12), Ciera Wierenga (26), Alexander Trujillo (27)
  • 2nd Violin: Autumn Anderson (18), Andrew Garcia (19), Ariana Ball (26)
  • Cello: Alec Doyle (1), Elizabeth Crumb (4), Grace Belcher (14), Megan Weber (16)
  • Viola: Isabelle Schild (4), Avery Massey (8), Madison Richardt (9), Hannah Larson (18), Collin Flynn (20), Leah Luebke (24)
  • String Bass: Amara Bertelson (1), Gunnar Benson (4), Manuelito Trey Trujillo (7)
  • Trumpet: Glorya Ekstrand (5)

Members of the All-State Orchestra are selected through extremely competitive auditions held in Tea, Huron, and Rapid City. The All-State Orchestra repertoire is posted on the South Dakota Activities Association website in May, and anyone who wants to audition can print the music and practice until auditions, which are in mid-October. Central’s Orchestra department holds a “boot camp” during August for everyone to brush up on the music, and the Chamber Orchestra works on the music throughout September and into October.

For the audition, students play a scale, two selected etudes, and excerpts from the orchestral music. No one knows the audition spots before audition day, so everyone must practice everything to be prepared. Once the day comes, students are assigned a time and a room where they will audition one-on-one with a judge. The judges are distinguished in the field of music. For example, the violin judge, Ioana Galu, is the assistant professor of violin and viola at the University of South Dakota. Students receive scores from 1-9 in areas such as rhythm, intonation, tone quality, and general musicianship. Along with the playing test, everyone is required to take a 50-question term test. Scores from each test are added together to create an overall score, the score that is used to determine order of chairs for each section. A player only competes with someone in their own section–a first violin only competes against other first violin players, not against violas or cellos.

Out of all high schools in the state, Central’s 25 admitted students are second only to Rapid City Stevens, which has 43 students accepted.

The students traveled to Sioux Falls on October 31st to begin rehearsals and prepare for the concert. It is held on a rotation; two years in Sioux Falls and one year in Rapid City. The 2019 All State Grand Concert will be held on November 2, 2019, at 7pm at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. It will also be aired on SDPB-TV.