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Three MHS students selected to All-State Choir

Three Monticello Choir members have proven they can hit all of the right notes. 

Sarah Sypnieski, Joseph Richards, and Brandon Wruck received one of the highest honors available in Minnesota High School Cho Sarah Sypnieski, Joseph Richards, and Brandon Wruck received one of the highest honors available in Minnesota High School Choir when they were selected for the Minnesota Music Educators Association 2020-21 All-State Choirs. Sypnieski was selected to the MN All-State Mixed Choir, while both Richards and Wruck were selected to the MN All-State TB (Tenor-Bass) Choir.

In total there are three different All-State Choirs, with 80 spots available on each (including only 30 for each voice type). More than 1,200 of the state’s most talented choir students apply annually, with less than 20 percent netting spots on the team. With no classes separating big schools and small schools, Choir Director Nathan Herfindahl compared the honor to making, or potentially even winning, the state tournament in a sport that didn’t have classes but rather let schools of all sizes compete for select spots.

“It is a tremendous honor,” said Herfindahl, noting how proud he is of the work that each of the three individuals put in to achieve this recognition. 

Choir members audition by submitting audio recordings to judges from around the state. Only the best performances are given consideration for the prestigious honor. The three singers recognized this year makes it six Monticello singers to be selected for All-State Choir during the past decade.

Selection for All-State Choir typically comes with the opportunity to attend a week-long camp to prepare music with a renowned conductor before the choirs meet again in February for a brush-up rehearsal and a performance at Orchestra Hall. This year, due to COVID-19 concerns, the summer camp has been canceled. Plans are currently underway for the choirs to meet in February 2021 with a possible extended rehearsal period leading to a winter performance.