All-State Orchestra fully remote for 2020 performance

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Photo of LSE’s 2020 All-State Musicians

Jacob Miller, Copy Editor

Despite the many changes from COVID-19, All-State Orchestra continued its tradition in Nebraska, choosing the top high school musicians to play under an internationally recognized conductor. This year, seven students from Lincoln Southeast(LSE) were selected for the event. Dameer Gustafson (12) and Morgan Madsen (12) were chosen to play violin. For the viola, Rowan Johnson (11), Rachel Odabasi (12) and Nicole Tinius (11) were selected. Finally, two bass players were selected. Emma Von Scheliha (9) and Ren Lyons (12) rounded off the LSE students.

Each year in September, auditions are held for students across the state. On Oct.19, the students who were accepted into All-State Orchestra are notified, and emails are then sent out to each student containing the music for their performance. Unfortunately, the experience was not nearly the same due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of playing for a live audience at the Lied Center, this year’s event was fully remote. Dameer Gustafson (12) was disappointed about how this year’s competition went.

“After I auditioned and got in, my Orchestra teacher, Mrs. Delaney, helped me with recording my piece, since we couldn’t perform on the Lied Center stage. There were no rehearsals, no going downtown, and no spending time with friends,” Gustafson said.

This is Gustafson’s second selection for All-State Orchestra, and to him, this year did not compare to the excitement of last year’s event.

“It was a bummer of a year because everyone felt isolated from their friends and their music,” Gustafson said. “Playing in front of a live audience is the most thrilling thing I have ever experienced as a high schooler.”

For the 2020 All-State Orchestra, the emotions can vary between students as to their experience. While students experiencing their first All-State aren’t too disappointed, seniors such as Gustafson are let down by the true experience that they won’t be able to have. Despite these changes, All-State is nothing short of an honor. Gustafson hopes that students will be able to experience the event without COVID-19 restrictions, as it was an amazing experience.