All State Choir!

Emma Smith, Editor

This year, two Westlake students have been selected to join the 2022 Colorado Middle School All State Choir! Grace Dunford (8th) and Lizzie Olivier (7th) have been selected.

Ms. Amber Hodges, Choir teacher (temporarily filling in for Ms. Roman), has been working hard to prepare the two students selected. In the past, Westlake has only had one student selected, but this year is a big deal because there have been two students chosen.

The Audition

There are 4 different aspects of the audition: a choral, a major scale, major and minor triads, and two sight-singing excerpts. While students know what the choral will be, the rest of the audition is a surprise. In class, students practiced scales and singing in many different keys.

Lizzie and Grace as Singers

“Both Lizzie and Grace have a very pure vocal tone that blends well with other voices. They also each do a great job of singing in tune. Both of these aspects are very important for an audition. The judges want to hear singers who can sing well independently. It’s much more difficult to sing well by yourself than in a group,” shared Ms. Hodges about the two students.

A Message From Ms. Amber Hodges

“We are so proud of Lizzie and Grace, as well as everyone else who auditioned. Preparing an audition is a lot of work! You could put in hours of practice time and still not get in. You’re putting yourself out there just for a chance to get in, so it’s a very brave and vulnerable decision to audition! Lizzie and Grace, along with all of the other Middle School All-State Choir students, will miss two days of school in March to rehearse in Denver. They will perform their concert in the beautiful (and huge!) Bellco Theater in Denver. The music they perform will be very challenging, but fun, and they’ll get to learn from amazing guest clinicians.”

Q& A With Lizzie and Grace

Q: How did it feel when you heard that you had gotten into All State?

Lizzie: “It was honestly very surprising because I did not think I was going to get in. I know I am good singer but there are lots of good singers who auditioned as well.”

Grace: “I was very nervous when she said that there was only one 8th grader who made all-state. the other people that auditioned are all very good at singing. so when she said “GRACE DUNFORD” at first I didn’t realize it was me!”

Q: What was the audition like?

Lizzie: “It was kind of scary because it was a felt super official. I had to know choir vocabulary so I could get in. I also had to sing a scale which I was prepared for.”

Grace: “The addition was NERVE RACKING! I was there with 2 other people. We did warm ups all together and then I was the first to addition.  I had one chance to get this and that was it…the 5 min audition felt like 30 min at the time…”

Q: Final question, how much do you enjoy choir?

Lizzie: “ I really like singing but do not like singing in a mask.  Overall, it is a lot of fun!”

Grace: “I have loved singing all my life…my mom has her major in playing the cello and she inspires me to do something musical.  When it came to 6th grade, we had to take one of the music classes and I chose choir, not only for my love of singing, but also because you didn’t have to haul an instrument back and forth! I loved it so much that I did it in 7th and 8th grade, too.”


Lizzie and Grace