Two Mount Greylock Students Selected for All-State Festival Ensembles


Emily Dupuis, Killian Scanlon, Simon Shin, and Grace Winters attend the All-State Festival Audition – Photo Courtesy of @mgmounties Instagram

Four Mount Greylock students attended the All-State Festival Ensembles tryout on January 21 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts to prove their musical skills to select judging. Juniors Emily Dupuis and Grace Winters were chosen for the All-State performance, scheduled for March 4 at Boston Symphony Hall. Because of weather conflicts, a makeshift concert was performed on March 3. 

To audition for All-State, students must score high enough at the Western District audition. “There’s always those jitters that you get right before an audition, and you get really scared, but then you’re like, I can do this. Just take some deep breaths, and that really helps,” Dupuis said.

This year’s All-State Concert, featuring over 500 chorus, orchestra, band and jazz musicians, was the festival’s 69th annual performance. The concert is sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Education Association, a group that is a part of the National Association for Music Education. 

When asked about her experiences with the judges and the specific All-State audition, Winters said it was intense. “It was honestly quite scary because they have you go into this room…you have to play this piece. They just sit there, watch you and write things down. It’s just always so stressful,” Winters said. 

The students entered a room with a judge and played scales and pieces for them. The judges occasionally give feedback before the student is sent on their way and the audition is over. “I think it was definitely a little bit stressful getting prepared for everything. But the audition was good. There was definitely that feeling of doubt right after the audition. But it all turned out well,” Winters said. 

After being selected for All-State, Dupuis for flute and Winters for bass, both juniors got the opportunity to work with other talented musicians from Massachusetts. “I’m thinking of majoring in music as of right now…music is something that holds a lot of value and I think it should be represented, and I want to do that as best as I can,” Dupuis said.

“I’m looking forward to continuing music and just seeing how far I can go with it,” Winters said. 

Although the steps to get to performance level may have been challenging, Winters and Dupuis agreed that the end result was rewarding. “I think the scariness of the audition is definitely worth it in the end. Because you get such a good experience, whether it goes bad or good from playing in front of the judge. And just get that experience for yourself,” Dupuis said.  

The concert postponement was unfortunate for many, as it meant less audience members. However, the musicians still performed for each other. 

“This was a very difficult decision that we understand will have several impacts on our students, families and programs,” the MMEA Executive Board wrote in a statement. “We do know how disappointing this decision is for the students participating but we will be working with Symphony Hall to see if we can find an alternate date to have the performance.”