All together for All State weekend

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Band All-State members gather outside the performance venue in Tampa. “I love to spend time with other wind players and teachers from American Heritage, who all work very hard to make the trip as great and fun as it is,” junior Carla Irizarry-Delgado, second from the right, said. (Photo submitted by Carla Irizarry-Delgado)

Upon their return from time off during winter break, students from various areas of the arts travelled to their respective All State conventions after the first week of school. 

All State is a gathering of students from across the state who individually qualify to play in respective All State concerts: guitar, band, orchestra and chorus. In order to attend the All State convention, students must try out ahead of time and earn a spot to perform with other qualifiers. 

The Guitar All State convention took place Jan. 7-9 at the Tampa Bay Convention Center in Tampa. Junior Jordyn Kurlander and senior Grant Sizemore represented Heritage at the event for their second consecutive year. “All State enables a collection of passionate and talented classical guitarists, somewhat rare in Florida, and allows them to connect and grow with each other,” Sizemore said. “It’s bittersweet to know this is my last one.”

Junior Jordyn Kurlander and senior Grant Sizemore represented Heritage at this year’s guitar All State concert. “I love the time I’ve had [at All State]; I regret that I can’t do it again,” Sizemore, right, said. (Photo submitted by Jordyn Kurlander)

Nine band students also took the stage at the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) All State Convention in Tampa. From Jan. 9-11, students participated in full ensemble rehearsals, visited the exhibition hall and saw music vendors and university exhibitors before performing in the final show. “All State music is very difficult. We have to work as a team to make it sound as great as it does on concert day, which is very rewarding and fulfilling as an aspiring professional musician,” junior Carla Irizarry Delgado, who attended the convention, said. 

Meanwhile, ten orchestra students travelled a bit farther to the orchestra All State Convention in Tallahassee from Jan. 9-11. At the concert, the orchestra played the overture to “A School of Scandal” and “Rodeo” by Aaron Copland. “It felt amazing to see all the hard work contribute to a great concert,” three-time All State performer senior Adam Cui said. 

Seniors Adam Cui and Joseph Balem, alongside junior Ellie Lim, are all returning performers at the orchestra all state convention. (Photo submitted by Ellie Lim)

Finally, fifteen Heritage choir students took to their All State convention in Tampa. Jan. 8-11. Students participated in various types of rehearsals depending on the type of choir they had qualified for. As part of the reading choir, junior Monserrat de Allende Silva sat in a large rehearsal room with about 100 other students and read through about 60 pieces of music over the span of two days. “I really like being able to work with such talented people that do singing because they love it and are passionate about it,” de Allende Silva said. “I feel like I really gain more experience singing with them and improve my skills. I also like trying out so many different genres of music and meeting so many new people. I consider it an honor to be able to attend.”

Joanne is a senior at American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. As a third-year staffer and second-year editor-in-chief, she loves immersing herself in the journalistic field and writing for her publications. Outside of newspaper, Joanne is also co-president of the English Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society, where she also serves as the student delegate state secretary. Among the other clubs she is a part of, Joanne is also secretary of the linguistics team and Chinese Honor Society, as well as treasurer for Quill and Scroll. In her free time, Joanne loves practicing her photography and going to concerts.

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