Students in choir win TMEA All-State

Bowie choir members share their journey preparing and experiencing the 2022 All-State competition

Sophomore Ashira Fronk and Finn Alexander felt their hands clamming up. They had been preparing for months. It was finally time to step on the stage and preform. Twenty minutes later, results were out. They had both received fourth chair for the TMEA All-State choir.

TMEA All-State choir is a yearly event in which choir students around the city go through three rounds of audition. Then, the students found out if they were given a spot in the exclusive All-State choir.

“I’ve been preparing for this competition since the beginning of the school year, and I’m relieved it’s finally over,” Fronk said. “I was really proud of myself afterwards.”

Bowie choir teacher Aaron Bourgeois has prepared students for this competition since the very beginning of the school year. He has also encouraged his pupils to private vocal lessons outside of their normal class period, to increase their chances of doing well in the future.

“We met for about two to five hours a week to rehearse the audition songs,” Bourgeois said. “As we progressed I also organized individual lesson times with my students to work on the next round of audition music in a one-on-one setting.”

The All-State competition tests choir students’ skills in singing and sight-reading which eventually reveals whether they made it into the official All-State choir. Fronk describes her adrenaline filled experience during the process of auditioning.

“The day of the audition was crazy—I spilled hot tea from the concession stand all over myself right before I auditioned,” Fronk said. “But thankfully, the audition went really well. I didn’t make any mistakes while singing in the first portion, and in the second portion, I only made one rhythm mistake.”

Auditioning is a nerve wracking experience for everyone, and Alexander agrees that there is stress and anticipation leading up to the audition.

“I had some great friends with me, so it was less of a burden, but it was still very intimidating,” Alexander said. “Somehow the auditions themselves felt like less of a task than the waiting between them.”

After multiple rounds of auditions, the students who made it into All-State choir were finally announced. Fronk recalls the joy she felt after hearing the results.

“When my name was called out on the loudspeaker, I was filled with happiness and shock,” Fronk said. “It was probably one of the best moments of my life.”

Because there hasn’t been a Bowie student who has made it onto the All-State during Bourgeois’ time teaching here, this was an incredibly exciting and proud moment for him.

“In all honesty, learning that two of my choir students made All-State was a very emotional moment for me. I hadn’t had an all-stater before and these were my first ones,” Bourgeois said. “I started crying because I knew in that moment that the right things were done to prepare them for this.”

After many hours of preparation for the competition, Fronk feels that this experience has taught her a lot about her singing abilities.

“This experience showed me what I am capable of,” Fronk said. “I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do this, but it’s amazing knowing that I can.”