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Q&A: Bethany Warner Named Second Chair in All-State Women’s Choir

Senior+Bethany+Warner+and+Choir+Director+Raul+Dominguez.
Senior Bethany Warner and Choir Director Raul Dominguez.

Senior Bethany Warner and Choir Director Raul Dominguez.

Kaitlyn Reeves

Kaitlyn Reeves

Senior Bethany Warner and Choir Director Raul Dominguez.

Sahil Bhutani, Online Editor

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Q: What did it feel like when you found out you made All-State?

A: Making it is really surreal because you realize that you’ve achieved this thing you’ve wanted for so long. [Making it for] the third year in a row is such a blessing. You’re standing there and you hear your name, and I think it’s a really special moment for musicians.

Q: What competition process did you have to go through to get to All-State?

A: The All-State process for choir has four auditions: District, Region, Pre-Area, and Area. You go through all of these and you keep getting whittled down until the last one, [where] there are twenty of you and you’re battling it out.

Q: Are these auditions more stressful than fun, or more fun than stressful?

A: Auditions have always been super fun. I’ve been doing these since freshman year. As a freshman, I was an alternate to Area, so I didn’t sing at Area, but I was present. I’ve been doing these things for so long that they’re just fun for me. I love going in there and singing these pieces because [I’ve] been working so hard. [I] fall in love with the pieces and auditions complete it, [I] feel at peace.

Q: What kind of preparation did you have to go through for the auditions?

A: It has gotten harder as I’ve gotten older because I really hate practicing. Usually, I go home and run the pieces until I know them backwards and forwards. It’s a lot of work. At the last two auditions they have sight-reading, so you have to practice for that, which is probably tougher than the actual music. Music comes naturally, but reading it in the spur of the moment is a little bit more stressful for me. Once I get into the groove of practicing and do it weekly it becomes another part of my life.

Q: Last year, you had “baby nodes,” the beginnings of vocal nodules (for more information on vocal nodules click here). What was it like for you to overcome something like that?

A: I did have baby nodes last year. Being silent for four weeks was the toughest thing for me. For someone who not only talks a lot, but also sings a lot, having to learn to be quiet was really hard. It taught me a lot about how to enjoy the music and the things that I get to do and appreciate the silence. That sounds so corny, but it really did teach me a lot. It was really painful but I had a really good support system and I got through it, so God’s grace.

Q: Do you have anyone you’d like to thank?

A: Thanks to the directors, they’re amazing. They’re constantly supportive and just wonderful to me. [Thanks to] all the people in choir that love me for what I do and support me through these auditions. They are super-wonderful in my life. I’m so excited for All-State.

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