HCPS students ‘score’ in music; Best of the best perform together at concert


     2023 All-County has already passed, but it’s not too late to celebrate the accomplishments of the students selected to participate.. According to choir teacher Katelyn Hemling, All-County is “an audition ensemble in Harford County, and so choir students – there’s band and orchestra as well – but the choir students audition in October, the auditions happen at night at one of the other high schools.”

      Hemling continues, “they have to go in front of the judges and sing an accompanied song. They usually have to sing something acapella and then they have to sing do a melodic sight reading, and a rhythmic sight reading and they can prepare ahead of time the song, but they don’t know what the sight reading is going to be when they get there.”

      For All-County, the top students are selected to be a part of the ensemble and they only have three rehearsals before the concert. Hemling says, they have “one sectional rehearsal that is led by the high school teachers in the county, they have one rehearsal with their nighttime conductor, and then they have an all-day rehearsal, and then the concert is the next day”

     Senior Aidan Pistel says, “All-County was a great experience. It was a great way to bond with members of my choir who really took singing seriously. As well as a great way to meet members of other choirs who I would normally never have a chance to talk to.”

      Pistel says, “for the audition, I focused a lot on things like clapping out the rhythms of every piece I had to sing, since you are singing on your own during the audition. I also had to brush up on sight reading since it was another part of the audition.” 

     Freshman Payten Ivy says, “I practiced a lot with Mrs Hemling – the chorus teacher – I worked on the songs a lot that we had to audition for and sing but I didn’t really work on sight reading.”

     For some students, they were nervous about auditioning and performing, but Pistel says, “I was really nervous when I first walked in, but putting on a lot of fake confidence seemed to help. There were these rehearsal tracks that they sent out that would help you learn and memorize your part.”

     Although he was nervous, he said “the best thing was becoming friends with some people who I barely knew. The worst though was probably the performance of our first song, it just felt very lackluster.”

     Ivy says, “I was nervous auditioning but once I got in I was still pretty nervous that we had to pull it together quickly but after practice I enjoyed it a lot.”