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All East: Virtual Auditions 2021
Tina Zheng

Hosted by the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, the annual All East Auditions offers an opportunity for high school students in the eastern Tennessee region to flex their musical skills. Usually students would travel to designated audition sites; however, with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s auditioning process is virtual.

For our string instrumentalists, they must record and submit a video of themselves performing two musical scales and a prepared excerpt chosen by the ETSBOA committee. Among the participating Baylor orchestra members, Alyssa Kim ’21, Barry Yang ’21, and Katherine Chen ’22, provided their perspectives.

This is not the first year these three talented violinists auditioned. When asked why she wanted to participate in this year’s All East Auditions, Kim responds that she wanted to relive her past experience of performing “with peers who held the same passion as me.” Chen responds “it’s super fun if you get in because you get to play with a bunch of different people.” This opportunity not only will be fun and engaging, but according to Yang, he hopes to challenge himself with advanced pieces to play in order to improve his violin-playing skills.

Although in past years selected students would gather in a city in eastern Tennessee and attend masterclasses together for a few days, Yang says “I don’t know how things are going to go this year.” Chen mentions last year that she and other chosen musicians grouped together in Gatlinburg, but she still thinks “it’s a good opportunity” despite the necessary changes this year. Even the current coronavirus situation does not seem to hamper these students’ enthusiasm.

Surprisingly, musically-inclined Baylor students haven’t always had this opportunity to audition for All East. For several years, Baylor did not have students participate for various reasons, but Yang states that Upper School orchestra members were reintroduced to the annual auditions when Ms. Christine Lau joined the Baylor faculty in 2018.

Kim, Yang, and Chen are immensely grateful for Ms. Lau’s dedication to her orchestra students. Kim would like to say “special shoutout to Ms. Lau for offering so much guidance outside of just school hours to help us prepare.” Baylor is indeed lucky to have such a supportive and encouraging teacher.

(Editor's Note: Below are the results of the auditions)

Students Who Auditioned into All-East:

  • Katherine Chen, '22,violin
  • Ibi Esho, '22, viola
  • Zoe Hardnett, '21, cello
  • Georgia Johnson, '23, viola
  • Alyssa Kim, '21, violin
  • Elisabeth Lau, '21, viola
  • Jenny Liu, '22, viola
  • Connie Ni, '22, violin
  • Barry Yang, '21, violin
  • In addition, Valerie Davis '24 (violin) ranked near the top of the alternates for All-East

Students Who Also Qualified for All-State:

  • Katherine Chen, '22, violin
  • Alyssa Kim, '21, violin
  • Jenny Liu, '22, viola
  • Barry Yang, '21, violin

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