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Nine Students Selected for All-State Honors

By Kelly McClelland, 01/12/19, 6:15PM EST

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Nine band students earn All-State Honors


Performing with the high school ensembles at the Michigan Music Conference All-State concerts will be Cam Shope, Allison Werkema, Evan Powers, Kelsey DeYoung and Mason VanDorp.

Nine Students Selected for All-State Honors

ROCKFORD - For the first time since the reintroduction of an orchestra program in the Rockford schools, a high school student has been selected for the 2019 Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association’s (MSBOA) All-State Orchestra Ensemble. This prestigious honor was bestowed upon violinist Kelsey DeYoung. A total of nine students from the Rockford Band and Orchestra programs were selected to join with “the best of the best” student musicians from across the state this year. Joining DeYoung for this honor from Rockford High School are Evan Powers, bassoon; Cam Shope, trombone; Mason VanDorp, tuba and Allison Werkema, clarinet in the All-State High School Band. North Rockford Middle School’s Elizabeth Gardner was selected to join the double bass section of the Middle School String Orchestra. The All-State Middle School Band will include East Rockford Middle School students Nico Cuccarese, baritone saxophone; Trey Kliewer, tuba and Thomas McGovern, euphonium.

The students will perform at the 13th Annual Michigan Music Conference with their respective groups Saturday, Jan. 26, at DeVos Performance Hall in downtown Grand Rapids. Each year over 2,000 students from across the state compete for the honor to play in one of five ensembles:  Middle School String Orchestra, Middle School Band, High School Full Orchestra, High School Band and High School Jazz Band. 

The conference opens January 24 and the students will assemble for two and a half days of rehearsal with nationally recognized conductors.  They will then take the stage of De Vos Performance Hall in their respective ensembles for a public concert beginning at 8 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26. Tickets for this general seating concert are available at the performance hall box office or through Ticketmaster. Tickets are $10 for adults with discounted fees for students and children.

“It is an honor to have so many Rockford students again participating,” stated Rebecca Kilgore, director at East Rockford Middle School. “The All-State ensembles represent the top musicians throughout the state and provides an opportunity for our students to perform with students from different schools and to learn from directors from around the country.”

The All-State program was established during the 2005-06 school year to recognize outstanding musicians.  Each year over 2,000 students from across the state of Michigan audition each year for one of the 400 seats in the five ensembles. To qualify, each student had to prepare an assigned short musical composition, a series of scales and sight-read a piece of music during their allotted 10-minute recorded audition. Since its inception, Rockford students have received the honor of performing with the All-State ensembles.


East Rockford Middle School students Nico Cuccarese, Thomas McGovern and Trey Kliewer will perform with All-State Middle School Band Saturday, Jan. 26.