Musicians warming up for All State

Junior Kylie Buckultz’s passionate voice illuminated the room in the Hampton Dumont school district. All-State auditions are to be held on Oct. 23 in Hampton Dumont, where 600 students across Iowa perform a selected piece chosen by the judges. Auditions tend to last the whole day. 

Buckultz said she is not nervous about the upcoming auditions. However, on the day of auditions when she is performing live, she said she will be skittish. Buckultz sings alto in choir and has been practicing two to three hours a week since this school year started. “We have to learn eight pieces of music and then on the morning of auditions. The cuts of music we have to perform are released at 5:30,” Buckultz said. 

Buckultz said the All-State experience has allowed her to get closer with her quartet and music instructor. Music instructor Eliott Kranz created practice tracks for students so they can rehearse outside of class. Rehearsals are set up into weekly one-hour individual one-on-one sessions with Kranz and a weekly group rehearsal with the rest of Buckultz’s quartet. 

“The goal is to help them become more independent musicians,” Kranz said. 

“Every day for the first two weeks of school there were optional rehearsals that Mr. Kranz set up. He would help prepare us for the repetitive auditions we have to face,” Buckultz said.

All-State is a very long process. The music is released the last week of July, but to even get a spot for auditions, students must register by Sep. 9 and continue the string of auditions until the festival on Nov. 18 in Coralville. “A bunch of my friends started the All-State process with me, but unfortunately not all of them were able to make it through audition to audition,” Buckultz said.

Although the All-State experience does not show up on any transcript and is simply extracurricular, Buckultz said the auditions are super nerve-racking. “If I don’t make it into All State then, oh well; I’ll keep moving on with my life. I’ll just keep in mind the things I have learned along the way to better myself and sound,” she said. 

Even though some school districts require masks to be worn, it is optional for students to do what they are most comfortable with. “Last year selected students never got the chance to perform. This year they will audition in quartets, and all signs point to us having an All-State festival in November,” Kranz said. 

For more information on audition and performance times, visit

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