The All-State Experience

Eight PLHS choir students were selected to perform in Nebraska’s state choir.


Meredith L'Heureux

1st Row (left to right) Sahara Pandit, James Rasser, Joe Keller 2nd Row (left to right) Ethan Heger, Emily Stover 3rd Row (left to right) Kailey Waszak, Liz Buike, Liam McVey

Music has the power to change lives. Everyone views music differently, and some take it more seriously than others. For some, performing in a choir of more than 400 individuals is that life changing experience. 

Each year, choir students from across Nebraska audition for a chance to be selected to join the All-State choir. From PLHS, multiple students sent in auditions, and eight were chosen.

“We had to learn like five or six different songs and then sing an excerpt from three of the different songs for the audition,” junior Liam McVey said. “We had to sing a scale and also sight read.”

For McVey, this was his first audition for the All-State choir. The lucky chance to be selected caused many emotions. 

“I was really excited because I definitely didn’t expect to [get in],” McVey said. 

On the other hand, there were also some more nervous emotions. Senior Sahara Pandit was selected once more after being chosen to perform in last year’s All-State choir. 

“I was actually worried about what it would look like this year because last year it was super different because of COVID-19,” Pandit said. 

In 2021, the choir had close to 300 students due to precautions for COVID-19.

“But I was really excited when I found out that I made it,” Pandit said.

These students traveled out to the state capitol three days before the performance to practice with other students from different schools. 

“[The trip] was over three days and everyday we would have three rehearsals, each were about two hours long,” McVey said.

The rehearsals took up a majority of the students’ time so everyone could be perfect for the performance. 

“We just went through the songs and started memorizing them and we had the director make notes as we sang [the songs] to our stability,” Pandit said. 

The performance came fast on Nov. 18. Dressed in their best robes, McVey and Pandit took the stage with their fellow choir members. 

“I think the performance went really well,” Pandit said. “I feel like everyone was really focused.”

Sometimes, the best takeaway from an experience like this, is the friends and memories made in the process. 

“Definitely a nine or ten out of ten,” McVey said. “It was really fun.”

This year’s All-State was definitely one for the history books for these Monarch students.

“I think it was a lot better than last year because I got to reach out to a lot more people and I got to make some new friends at All-State,” Pandit said.