The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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31 students awarded positions on East Central Kansas Music Educators Association choirs, bands and orchestras

The auditions occurred Saturday, Nov. 4 and the performances will be Saturday, Dec. 2
By Eva Hernandez
Singing as part of the girls quartet, seniors McKinley Graves, Violet Hentges, Grace Cormany and Sarah Coleman perform at the choir concert Wednesday, Oct. 25. All four members of the quartet were given positions on ECKMEA district choirs.

31 students in the school’s music department were awarded positions on the East Central Kansas Music Educators Association choirs, bands and orchestras based on Saturday, Nov. 4 auditions against hundreds of other students. 15 students will be in the mixed choir, eight students will be in the treble choir, three students will be in the band, one students will be in the jazz band, two students will be in the orchestra and two students will be alternates at the performances Saturday, Dec. 2.

By Emma Clement

ECKMEA hosts mini-conventions each year for choir, band and orchestra students to perform in concert with others from the district and to learn from clinicians. According to choir teacher Jessie Reimer, the mini-conventions provide great learning opportunities for choir students.

“It’s an honor to make the district choir,” Reimer said. “You get to work with a guest clinician. The clinicians are generally professors from universities or people who are well-known in the choral conducting world. It’s just an extra extended opportunity to make choral music with like-minded people.”

Senior Lily Jensen is a member of three school choirs: Jag Singers, Jag Chorale and Grace Notes. Jensen auditioned for her third time this year and is one of the 15 students who will be in the mixed choir. All choir students who auditioned worked hard to prepare in the weeks prior.

“We went to two prep days at KU and at Baker University,” Jensen said. “We worked with clinicians pretty much all day and we practiced all of the songs and they worked with us on it and helped us learn.”

In addition to practicing in groups, some students practice more individually. Junior Zach Chesser made the district jazz band to play guitar and is a member of the school’s marching band, concert band, symphonic band and jazz band. For his ECKMEA jazz band audition, Chesser took an individual preparation route.

“I just spent a lot of time practicing beforehand – a few hours each day or anytime I could,” Chesser said. “During seminar, I would go in [to the band room] to practice.”

All ECKMEA auditions were blind auditions. For choir students, Jensen said that this meant students learned parts of a song to sing for the judges, who would then score the performer to decide if they made a district choir. Chesser said that band follows a similar style of auditioning where each student plays for the judges and hears back a few days later about their score.

Ultimately, Jensen said her favorite part of ECKMEA district choir is meeting other students from the surrounding area who share her interest in music.

“It’s really fun to get to meet new people who are also passionate about music because everyone that auditions is someone that wants to be there and is putting a lot of work and effort to be there,” Jensen said. “It’s just fun to get to be around types of people that share your same interests.”

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About the Contributors
Emma Clement
Emma Clement, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief
This is senior Emma Clement’s third year on the JagWire staff. This year she is JagWire and Mill Valley News editor-in-chief, in addition to being a writer and designer for the newspaper. When she is not working on journalism, Emma enjoys reading, drawing, painting, watching TV shows and spending time with friends and family. She is also involved at Mill Valley as NHS president, Spanish NHS vice president, Youth for Refugees president, Model UN president, NAHS vice president and is a member of NEHS, Scholar’s Bowl and Women’s Empowerment Club. Outside of school, Emma works at Pinnacle Gymnastics as a gymnastics coach and is on the editorial board for elementia, the Johnson County Library’s teen literary magazine.
Eva Hernandez
Eva Hernandez, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Eva Hernandez’s first year on the JagWire staff. This year she will be learning the roles of a writer and photographer. Eva enjoys longboarding around her neighborhood and likes to play sports like flag football, soccer and basketball and she loves to bake for her friends. Eva also enjoys watching scary movies and shopping for shoes. Eva is involved in Relay for Life and would like to join more things as the school year goes on.

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