Senior Jasmine Ieremia (left) Junior Eva Lenhard (middle), and Julia Murph (right) pose at this year’s All State Music Festival in Anchorage, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Susan Harai)

Three Petersburg High School students recently participated in the All State Music Festival in Anchorage. The event brings together the best music students in the state. KFSK’s Angela Denning reports:

Seniors Jasmine Ieremia and Julia Murph and Junior Eva Lenhard were part of a select group of music students from around the state to participate in the All State Music Festival.

Part of All State is the students being taught by visiting conductors. Jasmine Ieremia sang in the All State mixed choir. She was at the event for the second time in high school and says she really liked the conductor this year, who was Nicole Lamartine from the University of Wyoming.

“Our conductor was very, very personable,” Ieremia said. “She had a lot of advice as far as vocal technique and how to hold yourself and how to use your body as like, she said a singing body rather than a singing head, to have a more grounded sound.”

The conductor led the students in the song Come Sweet Death, which was performed in a non-traditional way without specific start and stop times.

“They perform it in what’s called an aleatoric way,” said Petersburg Music teacher, Matt Lenhard. “Everybody sings what they just sang but they can start whenever they want and they can sing faster or slower and they do it with sign language.”

Jasmine Ieremia said, “We would bring our arms from our lower stomach up to where our head is and then put our hands outward. And that’s Come Sweet Death.”

Julia Murph has been to All State three times in high school. Before she sang in the mixed choir but this time she was in the treble choir. The treble choir is all female and was more challenging for her as an Alto.

“I’m the lower end of the choir, which is different from singing in a mixed choir because in the mixed choir if I were to sing Alto 2 I’m a middle voice rather than the bass which is the lower voice so that’s definitely a change,” Murph said.

Murph says after being in All State in the mixed choir and the treble choir she prefers the mixed choir.

“I like to hear the huge range from the lowest bass to the highest soprano,” Murph said. “The treble choir definitely is a challenge for the Altos.”

Eva Lenhard played the French horn in the All State band. The song, Autumn Leaves, features her section of horns playing a counter melody.

“I’ve only heard it as a jazz song before and so it was really cool to see a band arrangement of it.” she said. “You could still hear the jazz in it but it was a much more of a structured song with a lot of different parts and differences in tempo.”

Lenhard said she she learned a lot of techniques, rhythms, scales and music theory at the festival.

Murph and Ieremia were two of 175 singers at the state festival. They were selected from 727 auditions. Lenhard was one of about a hundred students selected from two hundred auditions for All State Band. The band’s preparations are more extensive having to learn songs to play for the audition.