Iowa Allstate Adaptions to COVID-19

Iowa Allstate Adaptions to COVID-19

Chloe Brooks, Reporter

  Allstate Choir is very important to a lot of musicians. It gives them an opportunity to showcase their talent, and if they make it into Allstate, an opportunity to participate in a televised performance. Allstate only accepts the best of the best, making the process long and grueling. Camps and smaller performances drill musical information into each musician’s head. There is only one problem. Due to COVID-19, performances everywhere have been cancelled. Camps have been reduced to virtual lessons and group work is no more. These variables made the Allstate process a very unfamiliar experience.

Taking place on Tuesday, October 20th, in TJ’s piano room was definitely a turn from taking the trip to Atlantic to audition.  TJ’s Choir Director, Travis Walker, worked hard to help his students adapt. Working closely with Brandy Sudario, Gwyneth Sudario, and Chloe Brooks, he made sure they were prepared for the audition. “This year, basically what I did was I gave the kids resources, and I registered the for some online camps, Iowa State and Morningside, And they learned their music through those online camps, and then, towards the end, I kinda helped them refine everything and try to make it the best recording as possible”. Auditioning in person wasn’t the only thing the singers missed out on. They also missed out on a lot of the experiences of the Allstate process. “ One of the things that I really love about this process is them working with students around the state, and they get the experience really great singers, and they get to sing with really great singers, and learn a lot from each other, and we usually go up to UNI and do a festival there where they perform their literature, so they get to perform their literature even if they don’t make the Iowa Allstate Choir.” Unfortunately, the singers had to go through this process without the help of their peers. 

Freshman would unfortunately have to wait till next year to experience the full Traditional Allstate process. Gwyneth Sudario, Freshman Allstate Auditionee, tells about her view on the Allstate process this year. She prefers the previous process, “I feel like the previous one would be better because you get to interact with more people and learn with them.”. Even with missing out with these large group learning experiences, she found a way to work around the challenges. “What kept me motivated was practicing with my brother, and he has helped me a lot with just learning the music and practicing with him, also Mr. Walker helped me.”

Seniors who had already gone through the process before had a different take on the experience. Brandy Sudario, Senior Allstate Auditionee, thought the process was easier and more individualized than before. He states, “I really liked and felt comfortable being able to work and improve individually during the process, allowing me to focus on myself. It was less pressure that the auditions were conducted virtually, recording/filming the audition gave us the privilege of being able to keep trying and keep recording however many times we desired, allowing us to surely give and be able to present our best.” Through these changes in process, Brandy was able to keep himself motivated. He did that by remembering what is important. He states, “Despite, the pressures, disappointments, and stress that one may go through during the process, being a 4-year auditionee, I am able to say that through this learning opportunity, I was able to learn various life lessons that I am able to carry and apply as I continue to grow and mature in life.”

Allstate, while being strange this year, has taught these singers important lessons. It showed them how to adapt, how to motivate themselves. It helped them focus on individuality and their own talents. Though Allstate might go back to normal next year, these lessons should still be carried to show off the singers full and true potential.