All-State 2023 Music Conference


From left to right: Emma Supple ’25, Sophia Wang ’25, Remick Silverman ’25, Ellie Gomez ’24

Each year, in early January, the Florida Music Education Association (FMEA) hosts its All-State Conference in Tampa, Florida. Twenty-three different ensembles meet for three days in which students rehearse and perform a wide range of music. The conference highlights Band, Chorus, Guitar, Popular Music, Orchestra, and Orff (a music style that includes movement and speech) students from all over the state. Ensembles include the SSAA ( Soprano I, Soprano II, Alto I, Alto II) All Women’s Choir, High School Jazz Band, Honors Orchestra, and more.
A recent addition to the conference is the Popular Music Collective, a modern band that showcases vocalists and instrumentalists who write and perform original songs. Sean Gonzalez, a junior at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee and two-time drummer for the band, spoke about his experience. He said, “Being a two-time participant in All-State, it was really cool seeing the new faces and different musical interests all coming together to make different songs.” Students who attend the FMEA event often meet musicians they connect with and, as Gonzalez attests, “make great friends in such a little amount of time.”
Auditions for All-State take place early in the school year and challenge students, testing music theory, sight-reading, and vocabulary. Preparation begins weeks in advance, and after passing auditions, students start practicing the music for the conference. “We practiced from Thursday to Friday for around 8 hours each day,” said Sophia Wang ‘25. “We started around 8 and finished around 9 with a 2 hour break for lunch and dinner in between.”
While practice was almost as long as a standard work day, Remi Silverman ‘25 said, “It is an amazing experience, feeling everyone’s passion for music and seeing the amount of effort put forward.” This year, over twenty Pine Crest high school students attended All-State, expanding their musical knowledge, performing incredible pieces, and inspiring those around them through music.