Annie Riggin selected for Colorado All-State Honor Choir


Meghan Taylor

Annie Riggin works with Manitou choir teacher Abby Steen in preparation of her All-State Honor Choir performances.

Meghan Taylor, Reporter

Annie Riggin, a Manitou Springs High School senior, was selected to participate in the Colorado All-State Honor Choir. This choir auditions students from all across the state and brings the state’s top singers together for a three-day singing event, ending on the final evening with a public performance in Denver. 

Colorado All-State Honor Choir selects top high school singers from each of the 4 regions; Metro, South, West and North. “Seven students from Manitou auditioned and over 1,445 people from across Colorado auditioned,” Abby Steen, choir teacher and director at MSHS and Manitou Springs Middle School, said. 

Riggin has been in choir since she was little and has developed a deep passion and love for music. “I’ve been in choir my whole life,” Riggin said. “It helps me get away from the struggles that I have.”

Earlier last semester, Riggin auditioned for the honor choir. “We were in class one day and Ms. Steen was talking about it, asking who was interested in it,” Riggin said. “I went through the audition process, but I realized it was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t do it.”

Steen has run All-State Honor Choir for the duration of her time teaching at MSHS, but as an alumna, she also participated in it in high school. “The audition process was almost the exact same as when I was in high school,” Steen said. “We had a solo that we had to have memorized, and then we had to do sight reading, all of our scales, all of our triads, and intervals.”

Due to COVID restrictions and precautions, All-State Honor Choir has been on hold for the past couple of years. “Since we’ve still been getting back into the swing of things, I just wanted everyone to have this experience,” Steen said. “We have such great singers this year, such beautiful voices that I just knew someone would get in.”

Elsa Baker, a friend of Riggin and fellow All-State auditioner, has seen how hard Annie has worked in the audition process. “It’s a bunch of different music skills and being under pressure,” Baker said. “I’m very proud of her, it came natural to her, she’s very, very talented.”

As Riggin brings her senior year to a close, she looks forward to continuing her musical career. “I’m going to take a gap year, but when I go back, I’m going to try and find a music program, whether that be a choir or having my Pitch Perfect moment with an acapella group,” Riggin said. “But definitely, 100%, I am going to continue singing.”

Steen is excited about the opportunities this can lead to for Riggin. “Many states have an All-State Honor Choir and know the requirements and the difficulty for getting in. This  automatically gives that person an advantage in their musical career,” Steen said. “This is a great opportunity for experience, but when she moves on to college or any musical career, she can put this on her resume.”

All-State Honor Choir auditions are open to any interested juniors or seniors. “It’s a great opportunity for all singers that want to have choir experience, they should try auditioning next year,” Baker said.