The Colors of a Qualifier

Dakota Dunman named first male All-State choir qualifier since 2012


Madi Hermeyer

Dakota Dunman is surounded by colors. Each voice brought by the FHC choir is unique, they each bring their own unique colors to the sound.

All-State Choir. An achievement that many choral members strive to achieve. But for junior Dakota Dunman, getting accepted into All-State Choir became reality.

The Missouri All-State Choir is an honor choir featuring students from high schools all across Missouri. The eleven regions of Missouri are allowed four students in each section (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) with two alternatives. Each student who applies must audition, and the chances of getting in are slim. A well-regarded clinician is brought in to work with the students and a formal performance of the choir is held later that night.

Dunman is the first boy since 2012 to make it into All-State choir; He has been dreaming of All-State Choir for years.

“All-State has been a big hope for me ever since freshman year, but I didn’t think I actually think I could make it junior year,” Dunman said. “When I found out I honestly got teary eyed and according to my friends I turned the deepest shade of red.”

Dunman claims he could not have reached All State without the help of choir teacher Elizabeth Baird.

“Mrs. Baird is supportive of each and every one of her students and she helps us strive for doing our absolute best and reaching our fullest potential,” Duman said.

On the other end, Mrs. Baird is proud of Dunman’s achievements.

“While Dakota has always been a valuable member of choir, it has been so great to see him grow as a musician and as a leader in the past two years especially. He is also the vice president of the choir program this year and began taking private lessons this year,” Baird said. “Both of these areas have really helped him find his voice in class. He is more confident in his skills and in his ability to succeed. He works so hard outside of school hours and his hard work has paid off.”

For Dunman the FHC Choir has inspired and helped him grow into who is today. And he has worked hard to achieve his goal of All-State.

“The FHC choir in general has been a big inspiration for me since seventh grade when they performed for the middle schools,” Dunman said.

Mrs. Baird feels that the choir is a family as well as a team.

“There is a significant family feel in the whole program. When one of us succeeds, we all celebrate with them,” Baird said. “There is always a healthy competition but I never feel animosity among students auditioning for things. They know that they are all individual and bring their own special ‘color’ to the sound of our ensembles. Every voice is valuable and needed. This is the culture we cultivate in the choir room and it shows anytime someone comes in.”