Two RHS Seniors Serenade the State at All-State

RHS Seniors make their final performance at All-State on Jan. 14.


Photo Vikram Sambasivan

Grace Barrett (’23) posing with her French Horn while rehearsing for her performance with the All-State Symphonic Orchestra.

Vikram Sambasivan, News & Features Editor

It takes a talented and hardworking musician to make it into the All-State band/orchestra, and on Saturday, Jan. 14, two Robinson band members, Nicholas “Nico” DeLise (’23) and Grace Barrett (’23), got to show off their skills in the All-State performance at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Delise, playing the Euphonium, performed as part of the All-State Symphonic Band while Barrett played the French Horn for the All-State Symphonic Orchestra. 

Playing in an All-State band or orchestra means that you are part of an elite group of musicians selected from a group of hundreds (if not more) of skilled high school musicians. This also means that making the cut is almost as hard as everything else that comes afterward. 

“The most difficult aspect [of being selected] is just the amount of dedication it takes. As I got older, I started to notice that the people around me were wanting to go into music, while I didn’t,” Barrett said. “Keeping up with them was definitely a challenge this year, as it takes way more hard work from me, but it was crazy cool to be seated next to kids who are auditioning at Juilliard this year. Even though matching them is the hardest part, it definitely is also amazing.”

Being in a group as selective as this also means that one is working in a much different environment with a different set of people than in a traditional high school band/orchestra.

“It felt amazing to perform with a group of dedicated musicians. We all knew what we were doing and what we were there for: to make music,” DeLise said. “The intensity of being at All-State on Euphonium was definitely high. I was surrounded by people who intend to major in Euphonium and make it their career, so it was a little intimidating at first, but I learned a lot from them.”

Such an elite group requires a lot of practice, not only to master the music, but to come together as a musical group. 

“My favorite part and possibly the most challenging part is playing with the strings. In band, I don’t get this opportunity, so being able to come here and play with the best strings in the state is incredible,” Barrett said. “Playing with them is definitely a challenge, as I’m not used to it, but their musicianship is on another level, and I absolutely love it.”

The dedication and practice all seemed to come together during their respective performances.

“I am….extremely proud of their performances that they [DeLise and Barrett] gave on Saturday,” Band Director Christopher Revett said. “They were part of two wonderful ensembles and they really represented Robinson at the highest level.”