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HCHS Students made KMEA Senior High All-State Chorus

Congrats to the HCHS Students who made KMEA Senior High All-State Chorus! Bravo!!!

Congratulations HCHS Choir students who made KMEA Senior High All-State Chorus! (L to R): Hayden Emmick (senior), daughter of Dan & P.J. Emmick; Baylee Estes (junior), daughter of Jeremy & Aimee Estes; and Rylann Kessans (sophomore), daughter of Jeff & Laura Kessans.

Three Hancock County High School Choir students made KMEA Senior High All-State Chorus this year! Congratulations to Hayden Emmick (senior), daughter of Dan & P.J. Emmick; Baylee Estes (junior), daughter of Jeremy & Aimee Estes; and Rylann Kessans (sophomore), daughter of Jeff & Laura Kessans.

HCMS/HCHS Choral & Theatre Director Melanie Adkins said she is extremely proud of these students. Melanie is in her 20th year of teaching at Hancock County Schools, and said that in all that time she’s only had 2 other students make All-State Chorus. “This year is my last year,” she said, “and I was very surprised and excited that I had 3 students audition and all 3 of them made it!”

Hayden, Baylee and Rylann auditioned in-house at Apollo High School on October 26th and competed against students from across the state for these coveted spots in the All-State Chorus. The audition process was extremely difficult and they worked very hard for many hours after school and during school just to make the cut for the auditions. Each school in District 2 can only have 10 percent of their choral class students compete in this rigorous audition process. Senior High Chorus includes grades 10, 11 & 12.


“They had to sing in front of 4 judges,” Melanie said. “They got a grade and they all scored above a 93 percent so they all scored really high. They each performed a prepared piece and also had to do a solo singing. Then, they went into another room with another judge to do sight reading. That is one of the most difficult parts because the student goes into the room, they hand them a piece of paper with notes on it and give them only one minute to look at it, then they place the starting pitch again and they have to sing the melody with no piano, no accompaniment and no practicing beforehand. They grade not only on rhythm, but also pitch. We’re super excited. It’s a pretty big deal. We practiced many hours.”

Performance on 2-9-2024

These 3 very talented HCHS students will be performing at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville on February 9th at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Melanie said she will be posting a recording of the students singing on the Hancock County Choir Facebook Page. If you’d like to attend the performance in person and support them with cheers from home, tickets can be purchased on the KY Center for the Arts website soon.

“For the performance,” Melanie said, “they rehearse for 2 or 3 hours in the morning and take a break for lunch, then rehearse again in the afternoon, and might take a 20 minute break in between. They rehearse from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. They start rehearsing on Wednesday, February 7th and rehearse all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and then the performance is Friday night.”

National Anthem

Later that evening, after they perform on Friday, Feb. 9, the Senior High All-State Chorus students will gather at the atrium of the Hyatt Hotel and sing the National Anthem, as they do each year, at 10:30 p.m. “They come out of their rooms at night,” said Melanie, “and we all sing the National Anthem. It has made national news.”

The All-State Chorus performance is in conjunction with the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) and there are usually over 2,000 teachers that attend the conference. “We have workshops we do,” Melanie said, “and at that time the All State Chorus, All State Band, All State Guitar, etc., all of those will be performing. The conference is February 7th-11th, with our students performing on the 9th.”

By Jennifer Wimmer

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