Every fall, anxious jitters and excitement escalate in the music department as auditions for the Southeastern District Music Festival near. At auditions, students get the opportunity to present their choral or instrumental skills to a panel of judges, who then decide if they can be in the exclusive festival. Four MVRHS students were accepted into the festival this year: seniors Christian Schmidt, Victoria Scott, and Josephine Orr, and junior Tripp Hopkins.
Students from over 80 schools in the district audition, but only a small fraction of them qualify for the festival that will be held at Canton High School in January. Students audition for the jazz ensemble, concert band, percussion ensemble, chorus, or orchestra. This November, the auditions took place at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham.
Victoria Scott started learning her audition piece in June, and worked on it both on her own and with her private teacher. Her senior-year audition held special significance for her. “This year’s audition was especially meaningful to me, because it was my last opportunity to participate in the festival,” she said. “I’ve played in the festival orchestra for the past four years, and I wanted to make sure I could end my experience on a high note. It’s the only opportunity I get to play in a full orchestra, so it’s something I look forward to.”
This will be senior Josephine Orr’s first year in the festival, and she is the first female from MVRHS to make it into the chorus since 2014. She also received a recommendation for the prestigious All-State Music Festival. She said, “I’m most looking forward to meeting all of the musicians who are just as in love with music as I am. Learning and being around so many dedicated musicians sounds like a dream come true.”
Senior Christian Schmidt, who was selected for the All-State Music Festival as a sophomore and was recommended again this year, attributes his success to his thorough methods of preparation: “The main preparation that goes into auditions is practicing the audition song. Since vocalists have to sing a chosen part of a four-part choral work, I just make sure that I’m comfortable singing the song along with the other three parts.”
Abigail Chandler, the choral teacher at MVRHS, was thrilled to hear of her students’ success: “The entire process is worthwhile. The reward of hard work and focus, the experience of the audition itself, and putting yourself out there to be judged is felt in the acceptance. Going to the festival and experiencing hours-long rehearsals with 200 other dedicated, talented teenagers is very rewarding.”