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 Guilford High School Students Selected for Prestigious All-State Choir

12/18/2019 12:00 AM

​Being selected for the All-State Choir is an extremely prestigious honor. Ever since I became the choir director at Guilford High School I have encouraged my students to audition for it. I went through the audition process when I was in high school and only ever made it to District. I knew that it would take really hard work to get my students to that skill level. In my first couple of years the students did not seem interested in the event and did not want to put in the effort to audition. I had one student make District my second year at Guilford. Three years later I had 10 students make District choir, which is the most Guilford has seen in almost 20 years! I am so proud of how hard all of my students who auditioned worked to get to District! When I found out that Guilford had five All-State Choir students I couldn't believe it. Again, that is something Guilford has not seen in 20 years. It is an incredible accomplishment, and I cannot wait for them to have the experience of singing with the best singers in the state Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2020!  

Here's what my students said about being named to the All-State Choir:

Tim Gaumond
I started to like singing when I did musical theatre at my school, and I realized that I didn't know what I was doing. In a desire to be better prepared for singing auditions for college, I took concert choir. When I started taking the class I learned about Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) auditions which were essentially mandatory for the class. So the class took a turn and became preparation for the audition. I had to learn scales, triads, sight reading, as well as several pieces. After trying my hardest to learn these skills, I went to auditions and tried my best. After some time it was announced that I got into District which was amazing. District singing was really fun, learning from and being led by a professional conductor was an experience I'll always remember. I was told I was accepted into All-State, and I couldn't be more excited.

Hadassah Cooper
For the last four years of choir, I've been learning the skills needed for ILMEA in class. Mrs. Mikulay has been telling me to audition every year, and something has always been in the way. I always thought the audition process was really strenuous, and that I wouldn't enjoy going to District. Junior year I finally thought about auditioning, but I couldn't because I had a surgery and couldn't make it to District. This year for my last year, I knew Mrs. Mikulay would be upset if I didn't audition, so I moved things around to make it work. I worked really hard to prepare, and I was really nervous about the audition. But once I got into District I got really excited and motivated. District was amazing and I was satisfied just making that! I never expected to make it to All-State, especially not honors. I am so happy and proud and can't wait for All-State!

Oscar Almonaci
My journey to All-State started when I was a sophomore at Boylan High School and I first joined choir. I was starting to learn how to use my voice and trying to become the best possible. After making District my sophomore year, I transferred to Guilford High School. I told my choir teacher that I was leaving and she told me that I would one day make All-State. Of course I thought that would never happen. I kept singing at Guilford and doing choir to keep training my voice because I love to sing. My voice started to glide and become bright, instead of cracking and lacking breath control. In the beginning I could never sight read, and that is a really important skill in the audition. With the help of Mrs. Mikulay teaching me how to sight read and using solfege I was able to become more familiar with it to help my All-State audition. Senior year came around and it was my last chance to get in All-State. I tried my best, and now I made it and I could not be happier. My journey to All-State proves to me that anything is possible if you work hard for it. I hope people know not to doubt themselves in what they can accomplish.

Joy Murphy
When I found out I made All-State honors, I actually couldn't believe it. I had made it to the District choir, but never expected to go on. This was something we talked about and worked on for years. A lot of us honestly gave up on the idea of making it. I don't think we realized how truly talented our class was. The only one who fully saw the potential was our choir teacher, Mrs. Mikulay. It was a crazy feeling when it was announced we made it. The best feeling, I think, is knowing we made our choir teacher proud. She believed in us, pushed us to work hard, and I think that's part of the reason we made it.

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