Liliana Vance was the only student from AMS to make this year’s All-State Honor Choir

ATASCADERO — On Saturday, Feb. 3, the All-State Choir Concert, presented at the California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC), took place at Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. Atascadero Middle School (AMS) eighth-grader Liliana Vance not only auditioned for the All-State Honor Choir but landed a spot and represented the Atascadero at the conference. All-State Honor Choirs are put together by the California Choral Director’s Association (CCDA).

Auditions took place online and ended on Oct. 20, 2023, and it didn’t take long for Liliana after she submitted her vocal material to find out that she would be performing in February and had landed a spot in Honor Choir.

“When I made it, I was kind of flabbergasted because I did not think I’d make State Honor Choir, and I remember telling my sister, and she was like, ‘that’s a big deal. That’s a really big deal.’ I was really excited,” said Liliana.


Liliana has been in the AMS choir for the last two years under the teaching of Carrie Jones. Jones not only teaches choir at AMS but also at Atascadero High School (AHS). She was the one who encouraged Liliana to audition and helped her pick a selection to audition for a soprano role, and when all was said and done, it paid off.

“Liliana is probably the most advanced student I’ve ever taught at her age, so getting her ready… I had to do nothing,” said Jones. “She was the only one to audition this year, but she definitely inspired others to do that. I have at least two people [students] that are planning to do it next year, which makes me happy.”

There were two choirs full of middle school students performed at the conference. Vance sang soprano in the choir, which features sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses. The choir featured close to 100 students from around the state and was conducted by Mary Biddlecombe.

“It was amazing. The choir director came into the room and didn’t say a word and just started motioning for us to do different things, and we started clapping and snapping and singing,” Liliana said about rehearsals that took place at Sacramento State. “It was really cool, just the synchronicity of that many people, all as one big voice or sound. It was really cool.” 

The Junior High School SATB Choir performed seven songs in total: “In Meeting We Are Blessed,” “Gloria from the Communion Mass,” “Cantate Domino,” “A Patch of Light,” “TaReKiTa,” “Standing Tall,” and “Sing Out My Soul.”

The CASMEC also featured another Junor High Honor Choir and three High School Honor Choirs comprised of students from around California. Vance said it was a lot of fun to be able to watch all the other choirs perform as well.

“It was pretty cool. There were some kids that were quite a big deal,” Liliana said. “There were a couple of kids who were into theater and stuff and had been in big shows, and some kids who have tried out for Broadway spots, and it was really cool.”

Congratulations to Liliana on representing Atascadero Middle School at an All-State Choir level.


Photo 1: Liliana Vance performs at the All-State Choir Concert in Sacramento. Photo provided by the Vance Family