BHS Music All-State Students to Perform at Orchestra Hall

Six Concert Band and five Concert Choir students were selected to perform at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota All-State Band and Choir

This Friday and Saturday, February 16th and 17th, six band students and five choir students from Buffalo High School will perform in the All-State Concerts at Orchestra Hall. The choir concert will be on the 16th, and the band concert on the 17th.

Singers Harrison Klaphake ’24, James Nelson ’24, Ellie Cassady ’25, Hope Schmitz ’24, and Xander Sabinash ’24; Flautists Malika Gallus ’24, Maggie Bertsch ’25, and Kiera Mcgorry ’25, along with clarinetists Lexi Zheng ’24, Oliver Holt ’24, and Anna Wuollet ’25, all submitted an All-State or MMEA (Minnesota Music Educators Association) audition last year. They were all accepted into the Minnesota All-State 2023. Each year hundreds of students around Minnesota submit their auditions hoping to be accepted. Having 11 students from the same school participate is an honor. 

Student musicians spend months preparing and practicing for their auditions. 

“I practiced almost every day or every other day, whenever I was free. Usually, I wanted to practice because I really wanted to get into the band and I knew I had to be really good at the music. It was never really a chore for me,” said Anna Wuollet.

Her hard work was rewarded when she and her musical peers were handed official-looking envelopes from band director Scott Rabehl and former choir director Zachariah Carlson.

“During band, Rabehl handed us each an envelope that had our names on it. Inside it said ‘Congratulations on getting into the MMEA Honor band!’ At first, I was shocked because I didn’t expect to be accepted, but then I was happy and really proud of myself and everyone else who got in, said Wuollet.

After being accepted, students pay a fee and mark off a week in August for the All-State camp. Students attend this camp for five days, where they learn their music, make connections with fellow players, and learn more about what it means to participate in All-State. 

“The camp was a lot of fun, it was my first sleep-away camp, you had to live in a dorm room for a week without air conditioning and it was a little hellish but fun. It was different to do band for eight hours a day with a huge band — our band here is pretty big, but the all-state band is about 100 kids,” said Lexi Zheng.

They’ve waited, practiced, and prepared for months for their concert at Orchestra Hall in February, but the idea of playing at Orchestra Hall still doesn’t feel real for some.

“I think it’s really crazy that we’re going to play in the same building that the pros play in. I’ve been there for field trips with Tri-M and it’s so cool to think that I’ll be on the same stage,” said Zheng. “I feel pretty ok about the concert. My technique has increased since the camp from playing, but I haven’t sat down and played the music in a while. I might be a little rusty but I think it’ll be fine.”

Orchestra Hall is one of the most prestigious performing art centers in the United States, and definitely in Minnesota. To play at Orchestra Hall is a huge honor and something most Minnesota musicians only dream of. This dream is coming true for these 11 students.

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Ava Peterson

Ava is an ABBA enthusiast, record collector, swimmer, Track and Field thrower, and trombone player.

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