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CONTRIBUTED Russellville High School students (from left) Avery Guinn, Macey Vandiver, Morgan Jenkins and Kaitlyn Balding will travel to Montgomery in January to participate in all-state choir.

RHS students make All-State choir

Each year Russellville High School takes students to audition for All-State choirs, and this year four students made all-state choirs and earned a trip to All-State in 2020.

Avery Guinn will participate in TTBB, the men’s choir; Kaitlyn Balding will participate in the all-women’s choir of SSA; and Macey Vandiver and Morgan Jenkins will participate in the mixed choir of SATB. Vandiver will also participate in All-State show choir.

“It’s something they get to love and want to do it every year,” said Russellville City Schools music director Emily Rush. “It’s like a goal to see how many years you can make it.”

This is Balding and Vandiver’s third year, and Jenkins’ and Guinn’s second year, participating in All-State.

Vandiver auditioned for All-State show choir online in October, and all of the other auditions took place in November, with Russellville auditioning at Muscle Shoals High School.

Students receive their music in August and work on their own to learn music before auditioning parts of each song in front of a panel of judges.

The students agreed the hardest part of the auditions is having to learn songs in foreign languages, with each choir performing at least two songs in a foreign language.

“Most of the songs this year in TTBB were in Italian – and I like Italian, but I don’t like singing it,” Guinn said.

Jenkins said the judges checked pronunciations of words and made sure the students were able to fluidly perform each song.

“One of the judges, he told us right before we performed, ‘Make me believe you speak this language,’” Jenkins said.

Balding said she had to learn a song in Czech, which did not allow for any mistakes because the song had such a fast pace.

“It’s a fun song, and I like it, but it’s hard,” Balding said.

Each student will travel to All-State choir Jan. 15- 18 in Montgomery to perform, with students from across the state, the songs they learned for auditions.

All-State show choir will be in March at the Birmingham Jefferson Conference Center.