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The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

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The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

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Kai Jacobson performs with All-State Honor Choir

Kai+Jacobson+%2812%29+and+Abby+Steen++leave+Manitou+Springs+High+School+with+cheers+from+the+students+and+staff+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+8.+They+arrived+at+the+Buell+Theater+of+Downtown+Denver+and+began+rehearsing+with+the+rest+of+the+choir+for+their+performance+that+Saturday.
Abby Steen
Kai Jacobson (12) and Abby Steen leave Manitou Springs High School with cheers from the students and staff on Thursday, Feb. 8. They arrived at the Buell Theater of Downtown Denver and began rehearsing with the rest of the choir for their performance that Saturday.

Colorado All-State Honor Choir, often referred to as just All-State, is a honor choir open to all upper-classman Colorado students. This year among the many auditioners, senior Kai Jacobson was selected to be a part of the honor choir and perform with the rest of that choir in Denver on Saturday Feb. 10, to about 2,800 people.

All-State requires an auditioner to prepare an art or folk song solo and show off their understanding of sight reading, intervals, scales and triads; as the solo and understanding each account for 50% of the audition. With all of those things to perfect before the audition, many students need more help outside the choir class. “He was sent to me by Ms Abby Steen, his choral music director who just happens to be a former student of mine,” Jacobson’s vocal teacher, Katherine Klamm said. “ Kai and I began preparing for the October audition last summer.”

After the auditions were done, all the Manitou Springs and all other Colorado auditioners waited for the rosters to be sent to each of their respective choir directors. The auditioners waited until days before winter break for the roster to be released. Jacobson’s name was on that list. “He dropped his jaw and just started screaming, and then ran around in circles,” Steen said.

With his inclusion in the roster, there was no time to waste as Jacobson had to learn and memorize six pieces before the concert in February. The months of practicing the pieces culminated in a send-off in a similar style to a sports team going to state championships. “Steen did a whole send off with like the fire trucks and the police and everything. She tried to keep it secret from me,” Jacobson said, “but Miss Jackson and Mr. Partridge told me the day before.”

After the send-off and drive to the Buell Theatre of Downtown Denver, Jacobson met with his Bass/Treble Choir and the Mixed Choir where they rehearsed for two hours. On that Friday, the choir rehearsed for another eight hours before taking a break to watch the All-State Jazz Choir at 10pm.

The Tenor/Bass Choir, also known as the Bass Choir, is comprised of all boys. While the Soprano/Alto, also known as the Treble Choir, is fully comprised of girls. With the Mixed Choir the combination of both choirs. (Nicole Ceciliani)

With that performance looming closer, Jacobson prepared himself. “I was fully preparing to have a full breakdown or something, when I saw that there’s 2,800 people there, because it was a sold out concert,” Jacobson said. “But it felt like it was perfectly fine; it felt the same as if 50 people came. And it was just great and the audience was so nice.”

Klamm couldn’t be more proud of Jacobson for taking this opportunity and growing his knowledge. “I’m sure this experience has been a favorite for Kai.  He has had a taste of what college music will be like and is excited for the future,” Klamm said. “It is always an honor to go on this journey with students and Kai has been just great to work with.”

With that college-level experience comes the independence needed to achieve these accomplishments. “I would just like to tell Kai that I’m very proud of him. He auditioned for a solo at the performance which is a very scary thing to do at such an elite level and didn’t get it. But he tried and that was amazing,” Steen said. “He didn’t even ask me; he just wanted to do it and was like ‘Oh, yes, do it.’ So that was really cool to see him confident thinking ‘Okay, well, I’m just gonna give it a shot. Why not?’ So very proud of him.”

With this experience under his belt, he moves forward in his senior-year, readying himself for college and future in the arts this year and beyond. “This past weekend I auditioned at UNC for musical theater, acting and theatre education. This week on February 23rd and 24th, there’s the middle school play, which I’ve been designing a set for,” Jacobson said. “The week after that is my other honor choir in western slope, which I’m excited for because this time I won’t be alone.”

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About the Contributor
Dalton Gates, Multi-Media Editor-in-Chief
Dalton Gates is a senior at Manitou Springs High School. He likes to write short scripts in his free time. His passions include film, writing and photography. Although, Gates hates The Breakfast Club. He is ecstatic to improve his writing and work collaboratively with others on The Prospector.
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