All-State Honors for Raceland High School Choir

Jarrod E. Stephens

The Ashland Beacon


   It’s no secret that the halls of our schools are filled with talented students. On the field and in the classroom, our students strive to achieve goals as they pursue their dreams. At Raceland-Worthington High School, a select group of students recently flexed their vocal talents and receive high honors for their singing ability. Approximately 1,300 students auditioned and only 600 are chosen for the three different choruses.

   Sopranos, Rachel Pierce (junior), Scarlett Branham (sophmore), tenors Chandler Gillium (junior), Aaron Stephens, (junior) along with basses Connor Hogsten (senior), and Landon Mauk, (junior) were selected to the 2020 KMEA All-State Choruses.

   Tom Stephens has been teaching the Raceland-Worthington High School Choir for 28 years and described the students as, “Tremendous young musicians!”

   Getting selected for All-State is not as simple as it may seem. The students go through a thorough process before learning if they qualified. “The audition process consists of them performing in quartets before a panel of four judges. The students are scored based on a set of criteria which includes voice quality, pitch and rhythmic accuracy, ability to stay on part in the quartet and ability to stay on part alone. 

   After this part of the audition, each student must then sight read an eight measure excerpt they have never seen before and given one minute of preparation in front of another judge and are scored based on pitch and rhythmic accuracy. The total score between the quartet and sight reading are calculated on a 100 point scale. After all auditions are complete statewide, the state choral chair then determines a cutoff score for each voice part,” Stephens said. 

   According to Stephens, “The students will attend a regional rehearsal in January. On February 5-7 they will be in rehearsals with nationally acclaimed guest conductors and present a concert on February 7 at 8 p.m. at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville. This is all in conjunction with the Kentucky Music Educators Association annual In-Service Conference.”   

   Rachel, Aaron and Connor will be performing with the Mixed Voice Choir. Scarlett will be performing with the all women’s choir. Landon and Chandler will be performing with the all men’s choir.

   Congratulations to each of these students and to Mr. Tom Stephens for his continued hard work and dedication.