Gunnison students earn spot in state choir
Photo by: 
Roberta Marquette

Support the GHS Choir on Wednesday, Feb. 5!

GHS Choir Fundraiser and Gala

GHS Commons | 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. show

Tickets: purchase at GHS front office.

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The opportunity to learn alongside some of the best in one’s craft is a rare opportunity, but for three Gunnison choir students, the chance to put their talents on display has arrived. 

Gunnison Middle School seventh grader Olivia Neyman and Gunnison High School seniors Akasha “Katt” Wolfe and Samuel Vickers will travel to Denver next month to participate in the prestigious Colorado All State Choir. 

“I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished,” said Mathew Coronado, choir director for the middle and high school. “They've shown a lot of talent and hard work.” 

This is the first year Gunnison students have participated in the choir since 2015-16. 

Plenty of the state’s middle and high schoolers audition for the opportunity, but only a select few are chosen. This year, eight Gunnison middle schoolers and 10 high schoolers auditioned. 

During the “rigorous” auditioning process, students were required to sing a solo, sight read a piece of music and sing a collection of intervals, triads and scales. 

Students also had to be self-motivated, as there is not enough time in their scheduled classes to really dig into the audition requirements. 

The solo is the only prepared aspect of the audition, the sight reading and other singing aspects are given to participants during their audition. The only thing they can do to prepare is practice, practice, practice. 

Wolfe recalled practicing with Coronado for “weeks and weeks” to prepare and even took up sight reading for fun to ensure she was the utmost ready for whatever the audition threw at her. 

“I just went into the audition ready and prepared for whatever happened,” she said. 

Wolfe has auditioned the last two years, so making it into the group her final year of high school she said was “really awesome.” She also was pleasantly surprised to make the cut, as she felt her audition was not her best. 

For Neyman, who has been singing since the age of five, this was her first attempt at trying out for the choir, as the seventh grade is the youngest participants can enter. 

“I just want to get up there and sing all my songs right and my pitches correctly, and have fun too,” Neyman said. 

During the whirlwind weekend, students will rehearse with an entirely new group of singers from who they are used to on Feb. 20 and 21. Rehearsals will continue on Feb. 22, until they perform for a packed crowd at the Buell Theatre. 

For small town students, the opportunity to take part in such a prestigious group and be surrounded by individuals with similar interests is unique. 

Coronado explained that his experience of growing up in Wyoming and having the opportunity to take part in the state choir when he was a student was certainly a special experience, and is looking forward to what his own students are able to achieve. 

“I hope they understand the honor of being included and the hard work they’ve done,” he said. “Also the fact that there are bigger and better things out there to contribute to musically.” 

Wolfe is particularly looking forward to the chance to meet new people from across the state. 

“I’m really excited for the camaraderie,” she said. “I like the family feeling of being in a choir.” 
 

(Roberta Marquette can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or at roberta@gunnisontimes.com.)