Junior Lauren Lorenz and sophomore Max Milligan will be representing Shaler Area at this year’s PMEA All-State Choir.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), holds a music festival for students around the state. PMEA is a nonprofit organization that promotes music education, learning, and performance in schools and communities. Thousands of students participate every year, auditioning for their district chorus. Those who rank the highest then advance to PMEA Region Chorus, competing against the student musicians from other PMEA regions. From there, the highest ranking musicians qualify to perform in one of six Pennsylvania All-State music ensembles.
“District Choir was honestly eye-opening for me… after singing my music with that group of people, I knew I wanted to make it far. I’ve never worked with a choir with this much technique, determination, and just overall kindness than this one. The director was awesome and shaped up a choir who just met into a college-level choir in less than 24 hours,” Milligan said.
Students had to start preparing for their auditions for District Chorus back in November, and now, four months later, Lorenz and Milligan are preparing for the All-State Conference at Pocono Mountain East High School April 6-8. At this conference, they will have the opportunity to work with renowned conductor Dr. Amelia Garbisch from Bloomsburg University.
“States auditions were definitely a lot more stressful. They took place during a busy time (as we were preparing for the) musical, so it was overwhelming at times. We spent a lot of class time practicing and perfecting our auditions. It was a long week of waiting after sending in the audition. When the list came out, I was so excited to see that I was accepted,” Lorenz said.
Making it this far in the PMEA Choral Ensemble is an honor for musicians. It is the equivalent to a sports team winning a state championship. These musicians are among the top vocalists in the state of Pennsylvania. All-State Choir brings together 240 vocalists from across Pennsylvania.
“Lauren and Max worked extremely hard to prepare their auditions. Their talent, hard work, and dedication have allowed them to achieve such an honor. They now, deservedly, join a very small, prestigious group of all-state musicians from Shaler Area High School,” choir director Mrs. Kristin Tepshich said.