Choir students participate in ILMEA

Seniors Sam Krischak and Ciara White will be participating in the ILMEA Choir Auditions. The State Festival will be held in Peoria.

“Illinois Music Education Association is a professional organization for Illinois Music Teachers. They serve many functions, but what you are most interested in is the sponsoring of Honors Ensembles including band, choir, orchestra, jazz band, jazz choir, composition,” said choir teacher Paul Nielsen.

In order to participate in ILMEA, students have to rehearse and memorize various elements of music and then present them to judges.

“To prepare for ILMEA, I had to learn two selections from two different choir songs and also prepare scales & triads,” Krischak said.

In order to participate in the ILMEA State Festival, students must pass through an audition process.

“The audition is the most important step. That score determines whether they make District. From there, a very complicated process happens at the state level to determine which students from all nine districts will go to State. It’s basically based on their audition score,” Nielsen said.

During preparation for ILMEA, students found some difficulties along the way. Certain songs may have been more difficult to learn and memorize.

“Preparing for the song ‘Ezekiel’ was difficult because it’s formatted differently than any other choir song I’ve ever sung before and is super complicated,” Krischak said.

Other students may have found difficulties not in memorization or practice, but rather breaking out of their shell and performing in front of an audience.

“I used to be really afraid of auditions and putting myself out of my comfort zone, but I realized that it’s not worth it to hold myself back. It’s good to take risks and try new things because it pays off! And there a ton of people like me who are just as excited and nervous as I am,” White said.

Participating in ILMEA is an opportunity to showcase your talent to others and then even possibly participate in the All-State Choir.

“I chose to participate because I’ve always wanted to be involved in something this grand. It’s going to be really cool to watch this concert come together with hundreds of people who share the same passion for music as I do. I also wanted the added experience and critiques to make myself a better musician,” White said.

For some of the students, it’s their first year participating in ILMEA and it is a new experience. The support from friends and other participants is something that could be valued.

“I’m anticipating a really good concert, and I’m super excited that it’s Ciara’s first time. I think she’ll have a lot of fun,” Krischak said.