Cape Henlopen High School students were recently recognized for their exceptional musical talents by being selected to participate in the Sussex County Band, All State Band and All State Choir.
Members of each group are selected through an audition process. County Choir members are nominated by their directors. The auditions are held at high schools and middle schools around the state, and aspiring performers attend together to try out for their individual group.
In September, students are assigned music to practice to perform at auditions along with scales and sight-read music. Scoring each audition are two judges who are music teachers from Delaware schools or the University of Delaware. The students are ranked by their final scores and then selected for the ensembles.
Once selected for an ensemble, students receive music to prepare for the honor festival.
“Each group has a guest conductor, usually a college or university faculty member, that attends the festival and leads two days of intensive rehearsals culminating in a final performance of the top performers from the county or state,” said Chris Burkhart, Cape Henlopen High School band director. “One of the students’ favorite aspects of these festivals is getting to make new friends in the arts from other schools around the county or state.”
Audition preparation varies by instrument and ensemble, but each group requires regular individual practice and coaching. Many students will go to a private teacher for additional help. Extra help and group study sessions organized by Cape students have contributed greatly to the overall success Cape students have seen over the last few years.
The district’s commitment to curricular and extracurricular arts education provides opportunities for these young performers. This year, Cape singers went 12 for 12 at Delaware All State Choir. Cape was also the most represented high school in the Delaware All State Jazz Band.
For Cape thespians, the process is a slightly different. This year, the Delaware Young Playwrights Festival received 51 plays by 55 students for the 2019-20 festival. Students first submit an original play inspired by a prompt in October. Professionals from Delaware Theatre Company then review the submissions and provide feedback to the student writers. Students are then able to revise their work and submit their plays to the festival again in December.
Delaware Theatre Company named five finalists and six honorable mentions. Both Kylie Daisey and Hylea Lisenby received honorable mentions for their original plays.
The students selected for various music ensembles are:
All State Jazz: Megan Erbe, first chair baritone sax; James Wisely, first chair trumpet; Isaac Weathersby; Liam Wiedmann, first chair guitar; and Sara Dawson, first chair bass guitar.
All State Orchestra: Liam Wiedmann, principal tuba.
All State Senior Band: Jeanae Clark; Megan Erbe, first chair baritone sax; Andrew Ludwig; Isaac Weathersby; James Wisely; and Liam Wiedman, first chair tuba.
All State Junior Band: Lilly Williams and Freddie Giovanitti.
All County Senior Band: Andreza Barros; Jeanae Clark; Greg Desalvo; Caren Cotoc-Ortiz; Jacob Safarik, first chair bassoon; Ben Koly, bassoon and clarinet; Hylea Lisenby, first chair clarinet; Mackenzie Vitolo; Sophie Schoenfeld; Jillian Geiter; Jacqueline Johnson, first chair bass clarinet; Megan Erbe, first chair alto saxophone; Noah Sutton; Vivian Martinez; first chair tenor saxophone; Kenny Shade-Rania, first chair baritone saxophone and second chair tenor sax; Andrew Ludwig; Josh Turek; Isaac Weathersby; James Wisely, trumpet and French horn; Madison Costello; Vicki Stein; Liam Wiedmann, first chair tuba; Lexi Bickleman; and Chris Rochester.
All County Junior Band: Lilly Williams, first chair flute; Dakota Trumbauer, first chair alto sax; Emma Thompson; and Freddie Giovanitti, first chair timpani.
Sussex County Senior Honors Choir: Chase Bullerjohn, Zoe Elzey, Megan Erbe, Jacqueline Johnson, Zachary Narr, Erin Muñoz, Jacob Safarik, Elizabeth Shea, Avery Silicato, Noah Sutton, Isaac Weathersby, and Liam Wiedmann.
All-State Senior Choir: Alexis Barker, Megan Erbe, Zoe Elzey, Jacqueline Johnson, Bridget Knutsen, Marie Lopez-Garcia, Bella Myers, Avery Silicato, Noah Sutton, Isaac Weathersby, Gabriella Windsor and James Wisely.