All-State Choir

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All-State Choir

The Tennessee All-State women's choir

The Tennessee All-State women's choir

Claire Gerling

The Tennessee All-State women's choir

Claire Gerling

Claire Gerling

The Tennessee All-State women's choir

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The history of the Tennessee Music Education Association is rather elusive. In 1949, The Tennessee Musician editor J. Clark Rhodes wrote that a purpose of TMEA was “to promote and activate a useful and broad program of music education in the schools…”. While this was the main goal of the association, only one event gets the TMEA’s full attention; All-State.

“It’s a really long audition process for the choir program,” Claire Gerling (11) said,  “First we have to audition for All-West, which just involves people from the immediate region in South-West Tennessee. If we get into that choir, we are eligible to audition for All-State. And it isn’t even over after we pass that audition”

Despite the arduous auditioning process four, students were able to prevail and make their way to All-State.

“Mr. Powell and his fiancé were our chaperones, and Stuart Thompson (11), Regi Worles (12), and Anthony Tate were in the men’s choir. I was the only girl from White Station to go,” Gerling said.

Upon arrival the singers were directed into their respective choirs: mixed, men’s, and women’s. Each choir then begins practicing with an assigned choir director from a prestigious college music program to work with for the 3 days before the concert.

However, despite all the time and effort put into the occasion, all was not well in the minds of the performers.

“The venue was literally the worst I have ever sang at,” Stuart Thompson said, “it was a warehouse with curtains lining the walls and three birds were flying above the stage.“

Even with the not so forgiving setting the performers did ,in the end, enjoy their experiences.

“I was excited to go out of town and stay at the Opryland Resort and spend my days learning and making beautiful music with other passionate musicians, ” Gerling said.

And they even managed to come up with a tip or two.
“Future all staters should just learn their music really well,” Thompson said.

All in all our performers had a good time, and are anxious for next year.

“Even though it was very difficult, I learned a lot and it was an overall beneficial experience. I feel like it really helped me to improve as a musician. I hope I make it again next year!” Gerling said.

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All-State Choir