All state all stars

Lauren Runde

Success comes from hard work and passion does not come easily. Here at Xavier High School, in the band and choir department there are seven very successful students who made All-State. Randall Kinner made All-State for Orchestra and Arnold Mutasingwa made All-State for band. Meanwhile, Greta Schaub and Jacob Sires have both made All-State for choir. This year’s alternates for the band are Faith Karl, Tim Lesnik, and Joseph Parker. 

Randall Kinner, a junior, has been playing instruments since he was in fifth grade and was inspired to start playing an instrument because his dad was a drummer and marched on the Iowa drumline when he was in college.

Kinner has said that band is a unique way for him to express his creativity and also learn the life skills of self-discipline and time management.

“I enjoy band because it can be an extremely challenging activity, and because I have met some of the greatest friends in my life through band and music,” Kinner said.

Mutasingwa, who plays clarinet, similarly said that playing an instrument in band is challenging, but fun. Mutasingwa started playing an instrument in fourth grade because music is one of his favorite pastimes. 

“Band is important to me because it has allowed me to create friendships that I will cherish for a long time,” Mutasingwa said. 

Schaub and Sires both got into music through their family and participated in choir while they were in middle school. Schaub wanted to continue singing in choir at Xavier because she always looked up to students in the Xavier Music Department and wanted to be a part of it. 

Sires said that he never second guessed wanting to join choir at Xavier and for him it was an easy decision because being a part of choir in middle school would transfer over to choir at Xavier. 

“Choir is important to me because there is such a great community in the music department at Xavier and you can tell everyone involved loves it. I love being able to connect to people through music and share my talents,” Sires said.    

Meanwhile, for Schaub, choir is like her second home and it is super important to her. Schaub and Sires have both been very successful in choir with Sires having made OPUS Honor Choir in fifth and eighth grade, receiving two Best Male Soloist awards at show choir competitions, and making All State this year. As for Schaub, she has made the OPUS Honor Choir for three years and made All State this year. 

Making All State for band or choir is a difficult process and showcases students’ dedication. 

“Earning an All-State spot is the highest music honor an individual can receive in high school. Generally, this is a reflection of how hard a student works at it. Both students that made it this year as well as the three alternates we had worked very hard to get where they are and are very deserving of the honor,” said Kelli Swehla, Director of Bands, about the All-State band students. 

“It takes a lot of hard work and many hours if practice. In the past it’s been a group in person audition, but this year it was a recording that we had to do of 5 pieces,” said Schaub.

“Being disciplined enough to prepare consistently beforehand is the main thing,” Mutasingwa said. 

“To make All-State as a percussionist you must play a variety of etudes on a variety of instruments including snare drum, marimba, and timpani while showing technique prowess in each area of the audition,” Kinner said. 

Sires said that in the future if he had the opportunity to pursue a professional music career he would not hesitate to take that opportunity and Schaub mentioned that she would like to be in choir in college. Meanwhile, Mutasingwa wants to potentially play concert band for college and Kinner wants to major in music once he is in college with hopes of being professionally involved with music. These All-State students are role models for future band and choir students and showcase what rewards come from hard work and passion.