Two underclassmen from Holliston High School who have qualified to head to the All-State Music Festival will take the stage on March 21st at Symphony Hall in Boston Massachusetts.
Sophomore Ben Dooley and Freshman Maggie Martin, are life long musicians.
After working their way through Districts, the competition held before All-States, they were asked by judges to return because of their scores and audition again. It was this audition that qualified them to perform at Symphony Hall.
“I auditioned last year, as a freshman, as well but missed it by one point,” said Dooley.
For Martin it was her first time auditioning for the competition.
Martin will be taking part in the chorus part of the program, which includes 266 other students.
Dooley will participate with the Jazz Band, who unlike the chorus, only has 18 other performers.
“Every year at least one or two students from Holliston go through that same process as Dooley and Martin and head to All-States,” said Mr. Stuart Britton, the chorus teacher at HHS.
Mr. Britton encourages students every year to audition for Districts. This year 12 students started off the process and about half of them got to participate, but Martin and Dooley were the only two to continue to All-States.
Mr. Britton plans on going to the festival to encourage Martin and Dooley, as well as participate in the workshop for teachers that is run by music teachers. Here, teachers have a chance to talk with other teachers from all over that state, especially about the potential of having their students advance to the All-Eastern festival.
“Every other year there is an All-Eastern festival which includes thirteen states all the way down to Virginia. It is based on the scores from the All-States auditions. Students are nominated then selected,” said Mr. Britton.
If they make it to All-States again next year, their scores from that competition will possibly allow Martin and Dooley to qualify for All-Eastern. They will go through a different process where they won’t need to re-audition, but will be nominated and selected.
Throughout both of their lives Martin and Dooley have been inspired by music.
Martin’s family has inspired her to continue through the process and to continue singing and performing. Her parents are composers and “famous for jazz” she said. Her older brother, Bob Martin, went through the same process that she is going through and went to All-States three out of his four years at HHS.
“Music is part of my genetic make-up and when I am bored, I turn to music instead of video games,” Martin said.
Martin has participated in Celebrate Holliston events, benefit concerts, won a first place title for a piano piece in 4th grade, and taken part in Prana Summer Camps.
Dooley has been inspired by his parents, along with his school music teachers and his private music teachers. Teachers like Mr. Stanton, the former middle school music teacher, and Mr. Britton.
Dooley has participated in Jazz band, committed to an outside youth orchestra called Claflin Hill Symphony, and also attended camps at the New England Conservatory, a college for music.
“It’s nice to know I’m one of the top musicians in the school and to know I can do this. It’s fulfilling,” said Dooley.