Students Break Pella’s All-State Record


Pella’s music programs have a longstanding tradition of excellence, and this year was no exception. A record-breaking 20 students were accepted to the 2022 All-State Music Festival, including eleven band students and nine choir students. Six students were also selected as alternates, including four band students and two choir students. Band selections include Penny Shriver on flute, Payton Lyons, Erin Mathes, and Rachel Stratton on Clarinet, Eli Ebeling on Alto Saxophone, Grace VanderBeek and Tyler Mifflin on trumpet, Jace Recker and Morgan Uitermarkt on trombone, Isaac Boualavong on euphonium, and Kyler Nunnikhoven on tuba. Choir students selected include sopranos Grace Brown and Ellie Wogen, altos Braelyn Ensor and Olivia Hood, tenors Bodie Peters and Jacob Reitveld, and basses Eli Burrows and Treyton Turnbull. Alternates include Tess Hopkins, Emmalee Spurgeon, Eliza VanZee, Karsyn Lyons, Aleigha Ausman, and Sam Miller.

Students who audition for All-State put in months of hard work and practice before their official auditions in October, and those who make it represent the top 2% of musicians in the state. 

“I was surprised because I was not expecting to make it. There were so many good people trying out,” said Vanderbeek. 

Senior Morgan Uitermarkt agreed.

“It was super rewarding to know that all of the hard work that I had put in had paid off, and even if I hadn’t made it, I would’ve been very happy with the progress I had made in my playing.” 

This was Uitermarkt’s third time making All-State, and this year she was the top audition in the state.

Students from across the state make up four different bands: the All-State Band, the Orchestra (made up of students who earned the top audition), the Chamber Orchestra made up of Orchestra members, and the All-State Choir. After getting accepted, students return to re-audition for their chair placements. This will determine where they sit in their respective bands. They then get to perform in a concert made up of other musicians from across the state who share their passion for music. 

“My favorite part was definitely the experience of being at All-State and meeting all these new people. I made a few new friends and that’s always fun, and I also loved the performance,” said Hood. “It was just amazing to hear the outcome of what I’ve been working so hard on.” 

Most students agree that the concert was their favorite part of the All-State experience. 

“The concert was the most rewarding experience,” says VanderBeek. “I just loved spending time with my friends in such a unique atmosphere.” 

Peters enjoyed “Being able to work with everyone, all these great musicians and singers from across the state, and also just being able to hang out with everyone that made it. We just had a great time.”