An All-Star All-Stater

This fall, senior Lex Somers accomplished being accepted into the All-State Music Festival for the fourth year in a row.

Lex Somers celebrates acceptance into the all-state band during his sophomore year. All four years of high school, Somers auditioned and earned a spot in the band.

Katy Rothfusz

Lex Somers celebrates acceptance into the all-state band during his sophomore year. All four years of high school, Somers auditioned and earned a spot in the band.

Da'Jai Wesson, Editor

Senior Lex Somers picked up his tuba and auditioned for All-State this fall for the last time, earning a spot for the fourth year. From freshman to senior year, Somers has auditioned as a tuba player with acceptance into the festival each time. The All-State Music Festival is for band and choir students that audition all across the state of Iowa, with only so many spots available. 

Somers has been practicing music from a young age. The summer going into the sixth grade, he started practicing for middle school band and has been apart of the music program ever since. Somers decided to audition for All-state his freshman year since all three of his siblings had done the same when they were in high school. “Because of that, it was kind of just assumed that I would also audition,” Somers said. 

Somers dedicated many hours of practice for All-state auditions from freshman to senior year, something he accredits his success to. “I practiced a lot. That’s about it.” He estimated spending a minimum of an hour a day in the four to five weeks prior to auditions freshman and sophomore year. With improvement as a player and overall memorization of scales, Somers didn’t have to practice as much his junior and senior year. 

Receiving support from family, friends, and teachers also played a big part in Somer’s acceptance into All-state. He gave a “big shoutout” to his close friend Nate McLean who gave him reassurance in times of self-demoralization. His family gave him encouragement along the way as well, helping boost his confidence before auditions. “The biggest factor in an audition is how confident you are, and a big part of how confident you are is what you tell yourself and what you allow others to tell you,” said Somers. Alongside this, he also received help from Band director Jarrod O’Donnell who provided Somers with audition materials and reassurance. 

The biggest factor in an audition is how confident you are, and a big part of how confident you are is what you tell yourself and what you allow others to tell you”

— Lex Somers

“Hard work and humility pay off,” was the biggest takeaway from his experience. “If you want to achieve something great, you have to put in the effort.” He kept this in mind throughout the years, which also helped him improve as a musician. “You don’t get to be good without practice, and you don’t make it to All-State without being good.”

If you want to achieve something great, you have to put in the effort.”

— Lex Somers

Advice from Somers to those auditioning for All-State is to not worry too much. He said, “You can be more confident in yourself if you just stop thinking about it and worrying about what the judge will think of you.” Other than that, Somers highly recommended practicing and memorizing scales. The All-State process for Somers was “overall just a ton of fun.” He enjoyed spending time with his peers on audition day, as well as “the satisfaction of being a much better player,” from being exposed to harder levels of music. “And if you do make it, you meet a ton of new people,” while having “an all-around great experience.”