The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

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Annie Hochberg Sings at a National Level


Annie Hochberg, a senior at MIHS, was given the opportunity to audition for a completely virtual, national-level choir.

“I was really shocked because I got in, and I didn’t really understand what it meant,” Hochberg said. 

As it turns out, Hochberg was one of seven chosen participants from Washington State and one of 260 participants from the entire country.

According to Hochberg, this ensemble consists of some of the “top-tier, serious musicians” from throughout the country.

Hochberg was given this opportunity because she had previously participated in an all-state honors choir through the same organization. 

“Because I got into all-state, I submitted two other songs for nationals, and then I got in through that,” Hochberg added. “I was just like, you know what, why not. The worst that can happen is getting rejected or not getting in.” 

Another reason that Hochberg wanted to try for nationals was the opportunity to meet new people. 

“I was super excited to meet new people and I was excited to meet more people with almost the same, identical, interests that I have,” Hochberg said. “That community just felt so nice because I could talk about something and it didn’t need explaining. I just really loved that I could surround myself with people who are as motivated, dedicated, and who understand.”

One of the unique things about this choir is that it is online, which means the participants had to submit performance videos as a substitute for an in-person performance.

“The video stuff, honestly, wasn’t that bad,” Hochberg said. “The only thing I have to be super careful about is I have to do it in the afternoon because that’s when the sun is the best and I can get the best natural light.”

A few other things have to be taken into account as well, such as when your voice sounds the best.

“By the afternoon, your voice is already warmed up naturally through talking,” Hochberg said.

However, it wasn’t all that simple. There were some outside interferences that made the recording process a little more complicated.

“I had to do [a recording] three times because the first time it was actually a really great run-through, but there was a really loud truck in the background, the second time, I messed up right at the end, but the third time I was completely fine,” Hochberg said. “It’s honestly just difficulties with your surroundings. For these, it was just stuff that was out of my control.”

Although it was an online format and circumstances are modified, the opportunity was still a very rewarding one.

“I’m still thankful for the experience even though it was all virtual, I can only be thankful for what I got,” Hochberg said. “Making music in person is such a valuable experience that I will never take advantage of again.”

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About the Contributor
Hannah Howison, Senior Staff Writer
Hannah Howison is a senior at MIHS in their fourth year of journalism. In the past, they have been a part of the back page team, the Features Editor, and is a Senior Staff Writer this year. In their free time, Hannah rides horses, plays videogames, and sings.