Choir Sings Their Hearts Out at All-State

Ben Lanier (11), Riley Hicks (12), Madison Baker (12) and Thomas Schartner (12) pose for a picture after preforming at All-State.

Photo courtesy: OHS Choir

Ben Lanier (11), Riley Hicks (12), Madison Baker (12) and Thomas Schartner (12) pose for a picture after preforming at All-State.

Four choir students and one band student from OHS attended the Missouri Music Educators Association, also known as the Missouri All State Convention. 

Colin Akers (12), Riley Hicks (12), Thomas Schartner (12), Madison Baker (12), and Ben Lanier (11) were chosen to attend MMEA. These give students left for Tan-Tar-A Resort in Lake of the Ozarks on Jan 22 until Jan 25. 

“We get chosen based on an audition process that starts at the 12 districts of Missouri,” said Lanier. “Starting with All Suburban and moving up to All State auditions where every person sings the same song.”

These five students represented OHS, the St. Louis suburban district, and Missouri as a whole. 

“I felt very honored to be able to participate and be chosen as one of the four choir students for my voice which is such an accomplishment. To be able to learn at this event with some of the most amazing leaders in the state and country is truly remarkable,” said Hicks. “To have this opportunity is a once in a lifetime experience. I am so excited to take everything I learn and use it moving forward to grow” 

This has proved to be a great opportunity for the students that were chosen to attend.

“Once we get to All-State, it is no longer a competition, it is just an honor to be placed into the choir,” said Lanier. “I believe that it helps us improve, the music and environment helps challenge us to become better singers and people overall.”

Akers, a band student, was chosen for All-State for all four years of his high school career. 

“To be selected all four years was a huge honor for me,” said Akers. “I went into my freshman year just looking for the experience of auditioning. I was ecstatic just to make it at all.” 

This event served as a great learning experience for the students.

“The event was a really positive experience for me,” said Akers. “I got to learn from a fantastic wind band conductor while still getting to play with amazing musicians. This event has always been a fantastic learning experience.” 

The trip was not only a learning experience but was a great way for them to meet other singers who share the same interests. 

“There are so many incredible people at All-State, and being able to meet such great friends with them is so incredible,” said Schartner. “It’s something you wouldn’t necessarily expect to happen but it is such a big part of it.

Hicks added, “The overall experience was very inspiring and moving. Performing with other singers was one of the most powerful, life-changing feelings that I don’t think I can ever recreate. One thing about All-State is the connections and friendships you are able to make with people who share the same passion as you, and these friendships can last a lifetime.”