The Iowa All-State Music Festival kicks off Thursday with a chorus of 603, an orchestra of 205 and a band of 265, all Iowa high school students.
"They represent the top 17 percent of musicians in the state of Iowa," Alan Greiner, executive director of the Iowa High School Music Association, said.
According to Greiner, the festival has been held since 1948. This will be its 65th event.
"The All-State Music Festival is the highest honor a high school musician in the state of Iowa can achieve," he said.
Among the 1,073 Iowa high school students participating in the festival, one is from St. Edmond High School and 11 are from Fort Dodge Senior High.
The high school students participating undergo rigorous preparation for the festival, according to Curtiss Klein, FDSH music department chair.
All-State Music Festival participants
Participating in the festival from the nine-county area are:
2011 All-State Orchestra
Michelle Curtis, St. Edmond, flute
Jacob Kingery, Jefferson-Scranton, cornet
Ryan Greiner, Jefferson-Scranton, percussion
2011 All-State Chorus
Benjamin Ahlers, Fort Dodge Senior High, bass
Jacob Amhof, Fort Dodge Senior High, tenor
Sarah Amhof, Fort Dodge Senior High, soprano
Emma Bruen, Fort Dodge Senior High, soprano
Joseph Bruen, Fort Dodge Senior High, tenor
Natalie Dillon, Fort Dodge Senior High, soprano
Kjerstin Grindberg, Fort Dodge Senior High, alto
Lilly Lenning, Fort Dodge Senior High, alto
Brian Murman, Fort Dodge Senior High, tenor
Nicholas Shaw, Fort Dodge Senior High, bass
Erin Fray, Jefferson-Scranton, soprano
Tabitha Yoder, Jefferson-Scranton, alto
Andrew Miller, Jefferson-Scranton, tenor
Kyle Roeder, Jefferson-Scranton, bass
Eliana Lowry, South Hamilton, Jewell, alto
2011 All-State Band
Naomi Rueger, South Hamilton, Jewell, French horn
Miriam Rueger, South Hamilton, Jewell, tuba
Lucas Yoakam, Humboldt, cornet
Allen Tierney, Humboldt, tuba
Rose Peterson, Fort Dodge Senior High, flute
"For the students that are selected, it requires different things of different students," he said. "For example, choir students audition on the music that will be performed, so their preparation will be continuing with the music that is performed."
Klein said his students are excited.
"As the days get closer, obviously there's always going to be some anticipation," he said. "The students that have been there before know what the process is, but students there for the first time won't know exactly what to expect until they get there."
Klein said it is an honor to have 11 students participating in the festival.
"It's an honor period to get students to go at all," he said. "It's always an honor to have students go to those groups because of the stringent audition requirements. It's a tough situation."
The All-State Music Festival will be held Thursday through Saturday, and the concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. Tickets are $18.
Greiner said the festival is "always exciting."
"With the music they're performing, it is going to be an incredible concert," he said.
Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or email@example.com