Student Musicians Shine at Missouri All-State Band, Orchestra and Choir

Congratulations are in order for three outstanding MICDS student musicians – Rafi Gil Diaz ‘19, Lucy Zhao ‘20 and Nicholas Clifford `20 – for their participation in the Missouri All-State Band, Orchestra and Choir, respectively.

Band Director Becky Long shared, “More than 1,700 musicians from across the state auditioned for the band and orchestra ensembles which were about 100 students each. How thrilled we are to have TWO brilliant instrumental musicians represent MICDS at this prestigious event.”

Choir Director Dana Self said, “We are so proud of Nick. He was selected as an alternate to the All-State Choir, which is a big honor in and of itself, and he rehearsed with the choir leading up to the performance. He had to be ready to go at a moment’s notice should a singer not be able to perform – and on Wednesday, an opening occurred. Nick had just a few hours to pack and travel to Tan-Tar-A for the start of the conference and rehearsals – and he made it and did a phenomenal job!”

The student musicians met, rehearsed and performed at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference last week at Lake of the Ozark’s Tan-Tar-A Resort. Beginning on Wednesday afternoon, Rafi, Lucy and Nick participated in clinic sessions, rehearsals, and social activities with their ensembles. After a tiring few days (some rehearsed until midnight each night!), the week culminated with a stunning performance on Saturday afternoon.

The Missouri All-State Band program included “Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka, “Magnolia Star” by Steve Danyew and “Benediction” by John Stevens. The Missouri All-State Orchestra performance included “Downey Overture” by Oscar Navarro, “America The Beautiful” arranged by Carmen Dragon, and the epic Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, “The Resurrection,” Movement I. Allegro maestoso by Gustav Mahler. The Missouri All-State Choir performed under the direction of Dr. Anton Armstrong, Director of Choirs at St. Olaf College.

In addition, MICDS Band and Choir Directors Becky Long, Josh Baumgartner, Dana Self and Jason Roberts participated in the Missouri Music Educators Association 81st Annual In-Service Workshop and Conference. While the students practiced, their instructors pursued their own professional development – learning from outstanding music educators from across the country and observing performances by exemplary bands, jazz bands, orchestras and choirs from across the state.

Congratulations to Rafi, Lucy and Nick – and the entire MICDS performing arts program – on this outstanding achievement!