Escalon High School junior Avery Terra is both excited and eager … she will be representing Escalon and taking part in practices and a performance of the State Honor Choir.
“In order to audition for All-State, a student must be accepted into County and Regional Choirs. From there, she had to record a virtual audition and I had to complete a teacher recommendation in support of her being qualified for this level of rehearsal and performance rigor,” said EHS Choir Director Katie Steffanic.
This will be Terra’s first time participating in the state event.
“I did county honor choir my freshman year,” Terra said, adding that there wasn’t the chance to perform during her sophomore year due to COVID restrictions. “This year I did county again and then regionals, which was in Lodi in October, and now going to state.”
Teacher Steffanic added that the All-State Choir, Band, and Orchestra groups will rehearse from Feb. 17 through 19 with guest conductors.
“They are provided room and board, as well,” she said of those students selected for the prestigious honor. “This all takes place during the annual California State Music Educators Conference. During the conference, music teachers from all over California gather for clinics, workshops, exhibits, and multiple performances from highlighted music ensembles.”
Steffanic will be attending the conference and will be able to accompany Terra to the performance venue.
“The All-State performance on Saturday evening wraps up the conference. It’s a huge event, and we’re back in-person after the last two years were virtual,” Steffanic added.
For her part, Terra is excited for the opportunity and eager to add her voice to those of fellow artists from across the state. At EHS, she took part in drama last year and has been involved in music for several years, as well as looking forward to enrolling in the school’s guitar class next year.
“I wouldn’t say I have the confidence to go music exclusively,” she admitted of getting into the field for a career, “but mostly likely I will do something with sound design.”
Her two favorite genres are alternative rock and “anything with an acoustic guitar,” which is why she wants to learn how to play the instrument.
“I’ve been singing as a hobby, working to get better for about five years and I have taken singing lessons,” she said.
What she enjoys most about singing is the “creative liberties” you can take with a song to make it your own, utilizing the words and melody but interpreting it in your own way.
“Basically we will have three days of rehearsals,” she said of collaborating with her high school peers at the event, “and then the payoff is we all get to perform together.”
The concert is open to the public and is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 19, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Saroyan Theatre, 730 M St., Fresno and will feature the California All-State Choir, Band, and Orchestra. Admission is free and officials there will be following safety protocols, checking for vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID test for admission.