A Note Above the Rest


Carson Lee, Editor-In-Chief

The anticipation had risen, it was time to see if he would measure up. He had spent the last eight months preparing for this moment, and it all came down to this one audition. Then it was a waiting game.

After auditioning earlier in the day, Junior Austin Taack sat among some of the best high school choral singers in the state. They were in the final round of the All-State choir process.

“That feeling of anticipation is always so difficult,” Taack said. “I kept reminding myself that I had fun.”

Finally, the moment came to announce his section. It came down to the wire and his name was yet to be announced.

“First chair in the 5A tenor 1 section is Austin Taack, from Rider High School” the announcer said.

Relief filled Taack as he remembered the hours of work he put in to this competition, which was now paying off.

In the months leading up to the auditions, Choir teachers Melanie Coons and Sarah Cook held practice sessions to prepare for each round.

“Each audition is a snapshot,” Taack said. “It’s a window into how you practice.”

Taack, among many other choir, band, and orchestra students had spent his summer and first semester of the 2017-2018 year preparing for the All-State process, in which every participant was assigned a group of songs and then would perform to see if they would make it to the next round. Taack succeeded in each round, eventually earning the first chair in the All-State choir for the second year in a row.

“I try to tell myself each time over and over again to just have fun with it,” Taack said. “You can do it differently each time, no matter how much practice you put in, but as long as I’m enjoying myself, I’m okay.”

Senior Caleigh Studer also received the highest honor in band this year, as one of the 14 flutes that made the All-State band out of 1100 that originally auditioned. This was an accomplishment she had been working towards for year.

“Along the way I’ve learned how band is about more than just music and competitions,” Studer said. “I love the sunrises during zero hour and squad games and dancing to Louie Louie in the stands at football games.”

Along with Studer, Taack has found his multiple meanings of music, and is considering it as a possible career.

“I want to be a composer, and one big interest there for me is film composing,” he said. “When I watch movies, I listen to what is happening in the background, and I see what is affecting the characters and how it all works together.”

Studer expressed her love of performing for others, and both her and Taack expressed their love for music.

“I love finding the story in everything I look at,” Taack said. “Learning and being involved in music can teach you to find the story in whatever you are looking at.”