BJSHS students selected as All-state Honor Band/Choir

WICHITA – Beloit High School students, Tyler Long and Khylie Mihm were recently selected in the 80th Annual KMEA All-State Honor Band/Honor Choir. Junior high student, Keighlee Armstrong, also competed in the Middle Level State Choir in Wichita.

Beginning in September, 2017, Long began practicing all his major scales and a selected solo in order to audition for the Northwest District KMEA Band. The audition was an audio recording via mp3 containing the chromatic scale and selections from the solo. He was rewarded by being seated as first chair in the District Band, which was held on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Fort Hays State University.

Since Long was selected and participated in the District Band, he was now eligible to audition for the State Band. The live auditions were held in Salina on Saturday, Jan. 6, where he received the news that he was selected for the honor band, being seated second chair out of ten trombones.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, Tyler began rehearsal at 12 p.m.  for the 1234A State Band with rehearsals ending at 9:30 p.m. The band had an all day rehearsal on Friday beginning at 8 a.m. The students were given breaks for meals and also given time to tour the many exhibits. Some exhibitors included music stores, instrument manufacturers, military and most of the major universities. While visiting the Kansas State University booth, Long was offered a scholarship to attend camp there this summer. The rehearsals concluded Friday evening and the concert was performed at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22. The director of the 1234A State Band was W. Dale Warren, Wind Band Conductor and Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas. 

Khylie Mihm was chosen as one of the six soprano representatives from the Northwest District after auditioning in early November, meaning she is within the top 64 sopranos in the entire state of Kansas.

Being selected into this choir is the highest honor a high school choral student can receive.

The choir rehearsed Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning. The 2018 KMEA All-State Honor Choir clinician was Dr. Christopher Aspaas, Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Texas Christian University.   The choir performed seven pieces of varying styles for their concert Saturday afternoon: “Way Over in Beulah Lan’”, “Flight Song”, “Sing On! Dance On!”, “Where Is Love” from Oliver, “The Heavens are Telling” from The Creation, “Kwela, Kwela”, and “You Are Mine”.  

Keighlee Armstrong was selected for the Middle Level State Honor Choir from an audition tapes that she submitted earlier this year. She was within the top 40 altos chosen. This is the highest honor for seventh through ninth grade choral students. They rehearsed all day Friday under the direction of Dr. Rollo Dillworth, Professor of Choral Music Education and Department Chair of Music Education and Therapy at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Middle Level State Honor Choir performed six pieces of varying styles for their concert Friday evening: “Achieved is the Glorious Work” from The Creation, “Hine Ma Tov”, “Hope is the Thing With Feathers”, “Sing with the Lark”, “El Grillo (The Cricket)”, and “I Sing Because I’m Happy”.

The Beloit Jr/Sr High school band director is Kristi Vetter. The choir teacher is Madison Deal.

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