VHS represented the choral talents of seniors Hannah Pommersheim, A.J. Manning and Lindsay Morecraft; juniors Amanda Granaas and Dru Daniels; and sophomores Dan Davies, D.J. Donahoe and Philip Munkvold. Five of these students were returning talents. The alternates were senior Tyler Thedorff, junior Gabby Richard, sophomore Jade Van Kley and freshman Crosby King. To attend All State, auditions were held in September. Students were asked to sing two songs and were judged by Dr. Fett from The University of South Dakota. Each school is allowed a certain amount of students based on the size of the school.
About a month before the performance, the chosen students and alternates had several practices. Practices were held in the evenings, two of these practices were held in Beresford with surrounding schools such as Elk Point and Wakonda. Other practices were held at the school with choir teacher Trisha Fisher, who accompanied the students to Rapid City and was there the whole time, helping students prepare and accompanying them on the trip.
"The concert was my favorite part, because they made me a little nervous but it sounded wonderful," Fisher said.
During their time at All State, their time was occupied with practices, trips to the mall and hanging out in the hotel. The group took a charter bus and filled the long drive with hanging out and watching movies.
Once arriving there, they got down to hard work and some fun along the way. Their meals were eaten at the mall, which was not an easy task, due to the large amounts of All State participants trying to all eat at once.
The work started with rehearsals, which were held on Friday and Saturday with the final performance Saturday night. The rehearsals were two hours long with 15- to 30-minute breaks.
After performance, the group headed home and arrived in Vermillion the next morning.
It was a lot of fun. The music was better than last year and the only bad part was Hannah getting sick," Granaas said.
One of the downsides of the trip was Pommersheim coming down with the stomach flu. She made it to Friday's practices but missed all of Saturdays. Over the entire weekend a total of 38 All-State performers came down with the stomach flu. She didn't let it get her down and was able to sing at the final performance going to three consecutive years of All State starting since her sophomore year.
"I was glad I got to sing, because this was my last year," Pommersheim said.
This story is published thanks to a joint agreement between the Plain Talk and the Vermillion High School journalism class.