November 5, 2013
Singer rises to national stage
Cortland High senior earns spot on All-National Honor Chorus
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High School student Margaret Hoeschele sings with the mixed chorus Monday. Hoeschele performed in Nashville last month as a member of the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honor Chorus.
Margaret Hoeschele is among the best of the best.
A former member of New York’s conference all-state choir, Hoeschele one-upped herself from Oct. 27 to 30 as she represented Cortland High School in Nashville as a member of the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honor Chorus.
A group of roughly 300 singers hand-picked from a pool of hundreds of thousands of student musicians nationwide, applicants are invited to audition based on their inclusion in their home state’s all-state chorus, itself a conglomeration of the best that the state has to offer.
Hoeschele’s audition consisted of a two-minute video of a New York State School Music Association approved solo piece. She had two minutes to prove that she was one of the best in the country.
Lacking surety of her acceptance, Hoeschele vividly recalls the moment in July that she learned of her inclusion into the elite group.
“I was working in my mom’s office for the summer. We were just about to leave and I got the email on my phone,” said Hoeschele. “I was incredibly excited. I hadn’t been confident that I would get in … I was just really excited to have the experience to perform with that talented a group because when you get to be a part of a sound like that, it’s pretty incredible.”
As a self-described “music person,” Hoeschele has immersed herself in her craft. She is a member of Cortland’s select choir, mixed choir and even a co-founder of an all-girl a cappella group, the Sassy Pitches. Ever since she started taking voice lessons at the age of 11, there has been something about singing and music that has kept her hooked.
“I started doing musicals here at the high school and so I sort of discovered my passion for performing there,” Hoeschele said. “The further I got into high school, trying to decide what I wanted to do, I just had a passion for music and there was nothing else that I really wanted to pursue the way I wanted to pursue music.”
The 17-year-old senior said that she began to buckle down in pursuit of her goal of attending college for music.
“I’m hoping to do either vocal performance or musical theater,” said Hoeschele, who is also heavily involved with the school’s drama program and has upcoming auditions at the University of Michigan, Syracuse University and Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, among others.
She described her experience in Nashville as one of the most “humbling and amazing experiences with music to date.”
Each day began with breakfast at 7 a.m. with the day’s first four-hour rehearsal an hour later at 8 a.m. After an hour for lunch at noon, the group met up again for it’s second rehearsal of the day form 1 to 5 p.m., all in an effort to join over 300 voices in seamless unity in just four short days.
“It’s really a strain as far as your voice goes,” said Hoeschele. “You have to drink lots of water and be careful about yelling and things. You don’t want to strain your voice more.”
When asked what it was about singing and performing that kept her coming back for more, Hoeschele struggled with the question, thinking thoughtfully before venturing a response.
“I’m able to express myself with music that I’m not really able to do in other ways. I’m generally fairly introverted,” she said. “I’m not really sure. There’s just something about music.”
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