Choir sends students to conference


North Choir Students are chosen to be participants in ILMEA’s conference. Photo courtesy of Aaron Mejorada

Jillian Schudiske, News Editor

Four North students participated in the annual Illinois Music Education Association all- state conference on Jan 26 and 27.

Junior Riley Ruggirello, Aanya Krishnan and Sajdah Anani attended the choir seminar, and Junior Emmerson Dietz attended the future music educators seminar at the Peoria Civic Center. 

ILMEA is a conference for music students and teachers to showcase their talent and learn about music education. 

“I had three kids who got to go sing in one of the choirs at state, and one kid who attended a specific session geared toward people interested in being a future music educator,”choir director Cristian Larios  said. Students are separated into two groups, those [who] auditioned to perform in the conference and those who wish to become future music educators. 

“They’re responsible for learning all the music,” Larios said “That means learning all the songs and being ready to sing whatever part of the song the people choose.”

In order to qualify for the conference, students must learn new material and send in an audition tape. They are then selected based on performance.

“This was my first year auditioning, so I was really shocked and excited when I found out I made all state,” junior Alto 2 Riley Ruggirello said.

The attendees started rehearsals at 8 a.m. and worked late into the evening practicing new material with other choir students from around the state. The conference ended with all the choir attendees showcasing their new material in front of the directors and family. 

“It was an incredible bonding experience that allowed me to create several new friends and grow closer to the ones that I already had,” Ruggirello said.
Next year, Larios hopes to send more students to the ILMEA conference to represent North.

“I think choir is a place for a lot of kids to build a community,” Larios said. “It can be life changing.”