Junior returns to All-State Ensemble

Finnegan Alexander balances All-State choir with starring in musical theater productions


Mars Canepa

PERFECTING HIS NOTES: Junior Finnegan Alexander reads over a song during a Bowie choir rehearsal. This is Alexander’s second year as a member of the Bowie Ensemble and he recently became a member of the All-State Choir for the second year.

Kate Davis, Managing Editor

Standing in front of the audience, spotlight beaming down, junior Finnegan Alexander prepares to perform with the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Choir.

The process of becoming a member of the All-State Choir consists of progressing through several rounds of auditions at the regional, area, and state level. This will be Alexander’s second year as a part of this choir. 

“It feels great. I had so much fun with it last year and I’m very excited to be a part of it again,” Alexander said. “It definitely feels like there’s this community that I’ll be coming back to there. Just the whole sense of being around a group of such like minded people, such talented people is so inviting and exciting for me.”

Alexander has been interested in music and musical theater since he was a young child attending summer camps. 

“I started singing for an audience when I was about four. I think I’ve just always had that element of rhythmic motion and musicality in my brain,” Alexander said. “I’ve had a passion for it pretty much forever, but you can pin it on Paramount Theater summer camps as a very young child or middle school musicals.”

Originally, Alexander had intentions to focus on his musical theater career solely. However, choir director Aaron Bourgeois convinced Alexander to join the Bowie choir, where he fell in love with the environment. 

“It’s always a lot of fun and I have gotten into a position where I’ve gotten to lead sections and help people out with different things,” Finnegan said. “Just being able to sing with the group in this kind of more relaxed setting is always a lot of fun, and I’m glad I get to do it.”

Other members of the Bowie choir enjoy Alexander’s presence in the program, attesting to his ability to positively lead other members. 

“Finn’s very focused when it comes to working on basically anything in his life and you definitely feel that when he’s at choir,” junior Daria Abramovitch said. “He knows what he’s doing and is always determined to do the best he can. He also directly makes sure that his section knows what they’re doing and are comfortable with it.”

Not only has Alexander had an impact on his peers since joining the choir, he has proved to be a dedicated and promising student.

“He gives a lot of time to individual practice in a way that I’ve seen few students have a passion for in my career,” Bourgeois said. “He wants to get better at his craft and be the best he can, and he knows that practice is simply the only way to go about it. Though confident and secure in his abilities, what makes Finn great is that he is always striving to find the adjustments he can make to get to that next level. He always aims to build upon what he has done and progress further.”

The whole sense of being around a group of such like minded people, such talented people is so inviting and exciting for me.

— Finnegan Alexander, Junior

Having had limited choral experience, Alexander faced some difficulty in developing some of the key skills needed for the All-State audition process. 

“One thing in particular he had to work hard on in his first year was learning how to sight read music, because he never had to do so in the past,” Bourgeois said. “This sight reading element is immensely stressful, with students having only 30 seconds to look over a sight reading example and be able to sing it in full, so I was very impressed that he was able to develop the skill to such a high level in such a short amount of time.”

Along with being a member of a selective choir comes new expectations, which Alexander is learning to handle. 

“It’s not really that I feel pressure, I feel driven,” Alexander said. “I feel that now I know I’m there, I can progress from there and I know what I can focus on from that. So I think it’s a little bit of a pressure aspect but it’s more an intrigue as to what will come next.”

The All-State choir has provided some new opportunities to Alexander that can’t necessarily be replicated by the program at school. 

“It’s just more for the people who are already musically inclined, that get chosen through the audition process,” Alexander said. “That provides a very different performance aspect to it. It’s not just your parents in the audience, it’s a massive house of musical educators and all kinds of different folks that just wanted to come and see it. So there definitely are different expectations set.”

These opportunities to perform on stage with the All-State ensemble has aided Alexander in choosing potential career paths. 

“The hope is Broadway, the hope has always been Broadway, the hope will always be Broadway,” Alexander said. “Although I think anything in that kind of performance area would be fantastic. Just to nail down even local regional theater or choral work would be a lot of fun for me although I do still love that acting and performance aspect.”

As Alexander works towards these goals of pursuing a career in musical theater or choir, the Bowie fine arts programs are helping refine his skills and supporting his aspirations. 

“As far as the music realm goes, he can pretty much have his pick of any direction and he would be immensely successful,” Bourgeois said. “He would, of course, be a great educator, but Finn’s passion really is performance, it’s what he lives for.”

Though confident and secure in his abilities, what makes Finn great is that he is always striving to find the adjustments he can make.

— Aaron Bourgeois, Choir Director

Being a member of several fine arts programs, while also balancing an education has proven to have its difficulties, however Alexander has learned to balance his responsibilities. 

“Well I think I found my groove,” Alexander said. “The time it starts to get a little complicated is the start of second semester because that ends up being full on musical season which makes it hard to balance schoolwork and shows. Choir sort of has to become third priority to the rest of it. For the rest of the year I would say everything is pretty smooth. So, all of it evens out pretty well.”

While finishing out his high school programs Alexander is consistently looking to improve his skills and better prepare himself for collegiate and professional careers. 

“If you feel like it’s not working, try something different because that’ll always lead you to some kind of point of learning where you’ll realize that’s better for me or it’s not working but now I know what is,” Alexander said. “Fail forward. Always learn from a point that you can’t make it try to find out why.”