Students Take Part in High School All-County Auditions


Anastasia Mamkin practicing her violin minutes before her High School All-County audition.

Emma Malabanan, Editor-In-Chief

High School All-County auditions were held at Valley Central Middle School on Oct. 21. Several school districts participated in this competition, including Monroe-Woodbury, Middletown, Minisink, Valley Central, West Point, Cornwall, Warwick, and Pine Bush.

“All-County is a select ensemble for chorus, band, and orchestra that students can audition to get into, and depending how well you do, if they make the cut, they get into it. So, it’s going to be a select group for the whole county,” said All-County chairperson, Mr. Champlin.

In the auditions, musicians go privately in front of a judge and are asked to play scales, their audition piece(s), and sight reading: a piece of music that they have never seen or heard before. This goal is to play all three as accurately and musically as possible.

When the audition nights are over, there will be a decision to be made: who makes it into the ensemble and who doesn’t?

“The groups are selected by a different committee, and then when I get all of the students, we build the group from there,” said Mr. Champlin. “So my responsibilities is finding a conductor, getting a program approved, and then, when the rehearsals are happening, I’m the point person in charge of getting all the information out to the selected students or getting the information to the conductors – I’m the middle man between the conductor and the ensemble.”

Most students have been preparing for these auditions since September, when the tryout music initially became public.

Junior Visakhi Miriyapalli said she’s been preparing for “about a few weeks.” 

According to Mr. Champlin, he’s been helping students prepare by practicing the given pieces in lessons and giving quizzes to the students to try out for higher positions in their given orchestra.

“If you start early in the year, and you practice a lot, I think you have a good chance of getting in,” said Mr. Champlin.

Students auditioning for All-County generally had a positive reaction.

“I auditioned because I think it’s good to have experience playing with different players other than the same players that you’ve been playing with every year,” said Diya Mangatt, a sophomore. “I think it’s good to have that nerve in practicing and auditioning instead of just having it for it being for your NYSSMA solo. I just think it’s a great experience overall, and I think everybody should do it at least once and see where you are in the county at least.”

“The reason I did All-County is to test my limits and to see how far I can go as an individual,” said Miriyapalli. “As soon as the audition is over, it’s a complete relief, but I know that once results come out, and if I don’t make it, I’m obviously going to feel bad, but I know I tried my best and I think it’ll be okay.”

The final concert and rehearsal dates are planned to be Jan. 28, 2022 and Jan. 29, 2022 with rain dates of Feb. 4, 2022 and Feb. 5, 2022.