INWOOD—Lydia Lee is just the second student in West Lyon High School history, along with 1995 graduate Todd Lippert, to be named an all-state selection in music four times.
“Freshman year, I went into all-state auditions and I thought there was no way I was going to make all-state,” Lee said. “I was absolutely shocked when I found out I made it freshman year. Since then it’s just been such an honor for me to be able to do that. It’s such a cool experience to be able to go to Ames every year.”
Lee, who was selected for the clarinet, said she was a little tense about her audition this year though.
“I was worried I would somehow manage to mess it up and not make it for my fourth year as a senior,” Lee said.
Before her senior year, Lee always had been recalled by the judges for another audition and then selected after that. This year, Lee was not on the recall list and she was initially worried.
“I thought ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t make it,’” she said. “That was a very scary couple of hours. That was kind of a mini freak-out moment for me.”
Lee was not recalled because she already had been chosen. The judges already had seen and heard enough from her to make her an all-state selection.
Ironically, Lee tried quitting band a few times in middle school.
“Mrs. (Lynette) Wedeking, my band director, she wouldn’t let me quit,” Lee said. “I wasn’t really interested in it anymore, but Mrs. Wedeking just encouraged me to keep going and give it a try for a couple more years. Once I got into junior high band, I really fell in love with it and started to develop my passion for music. From there it was just all in.”
She said one of the moments that flipped her to loving music came after she auditioned to be in the West Lyon High School jazz band as an eighth-grader. She played jazz piano and made it. West Lyon later finished second in the state that year in the Iowa Jazz Championships.
“Being able to play in such a good ensemble and being able to make music at a high level showed me where I could go and where we could go as musicians and as a band,” Lee said. “That new love for jazz carried over into all parts of music and that’s when I got super into clarinet.”
She said her favorite piece she has played on the clarinet came last year while playing in the all-state orchestra. The ensemble played George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.”
“It was so awesome,” Lee said. “It was maybe the coolest piece I’ve ever played and I was able to do it with an all-state orchestra.”
N’West Iowa All-State Selections:
The top students in N’West Iowa’s high school bands, choruses and orchestras will perform in concert in Ames tonight (Saturday, Nov. 23). Forty-four high school students from the area were chosen to perform at the 73rd annual All-State Music Festival Concert.
The Iowa High School Music Association and Iowa Music Educators Association host the event.
The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum on the campus of Iowa State University.
The 44 high school students from N’West Iowa selected for the festival were:
• Anna Godtland, senior, trombone, second year.
• Samantha Ebel, senior, first soprano, first year.
• Anna Van Aartsen, freshman, first soprano, first year.
• Anna Warntjes, freshman, first alto, first year.
• Zach Kraft, junior, first bass, first year.
• Kaylee Linden, freshman, second alto, first year.
• Ty Linden, senior, first bass, first year.
• Trevor Oloff, junior, first tenor, second year.
• Tessa Burg, senior, alto, third year.
• Ethan Hexamer, senior, baritone, first year.
• Hannah Hulstein, sophomore, string bass, second year.
• Rachel Jorgensen, senior, soprano, second year.
• Ashlyn Vander Stelt, junior, soprano, first year.
• John Alexander, senior, violin, fourth year.
• William Alexander, junior, cello, second year.
• Samuel Heikens, junior, percussion, third year.
• Kellen De Kok, junior, French horn, first year.
• Rachel Maggert sophomore, alto, first year.
• James Dagel, junior, French horn, second year
• Jacob Nobles, freshman, tenor, first year
• Carson Steichen, sophomore, euphonium, first year.
• Sophie Else, junior, first soprano, first year.
• Austin Faber, senior, second tenor, second year.
• Reese Faber, freshman, second bass, first year.
• Logan Fehlhafer, senior, second bass, second year.
• Ellie Hurst, junior, trumpet, third year.
• William Hurst, freshman, first tenor, first year.
• Katelyn Ten Pas, senior, second soprano, first year.
• Ashlyn Van Voorst, sophomore, second alto, first year.
• Brooklyn Vander Velde, senior, second soprano, second year.
• Samantha Vermeer, junior, first alto, first year.
• Sierra Meyer, junior, alto saxophone; second year.
• Courtney Joiner, sophomore, clarinet, first year.
• Hannah Landman, senior, viola, first year.
• Naomi Lief, senior, viola, second year.
• Gabrielle Miedema, junior, violin, first year.
• Kaeley Meyer, sophomore, violin, second year.
• Joya Schreurs, senior, violin, first year.
• Kaylee Van Donge, senior, clarinet, second year.
• JoyLyn Vande Berg, freshman, viola, first year.
• Karli Vanden Brink, senior, violin, first year.
• Lindsey Funke, senior, flute, second year.
• Lydia Lee, senior, clarinet, fourth year.
• Sage Hoekstra, junior, soprano, first year.
• Emily Zuidema, junior, alto, first year.