CF sends four to All-State

On Tuesday April 2, the Jazz One qualified as one of eight schools in Iowa to go to this invite only event. This years performance took place at CY Stephens on the ICU Campus. Over 2,500 heard the bands perform. Sophomore Eli Smith plays with Jazz One band.

The All-State Individuals Speech Festival was held on Monday, March 25 at the McLeod Center at UNI. Junior Sid Kalala, junior Devin O’Loughlin, senior Catherine Rohret and freshman Kimi Du were nominated by the state speech judges to perform their pieces at the festival. 

With the help of coaches Catherine Bettag and Jakob Elmquist, the students all crafted their own pieces for different categories and perfected their way into competition. 

Kalala left the audience in tears of laughter after performing his after dinner speech on college applications, meanwhile O’Loughlin walked people through understanding, embracing and controlling fear in the category of original oratory; Rohret joyously provoked thoughts while comparing the addicting TV show “Riverdale” with a car crash, and Du enthusiastically explained the key to being a productive procrastinator.

“It really didn’t have a lot to do with Ms. Bettag and myself. The students here have a passion and are extremely talented in the realm of arts. They are all great performers and exuded that at our competitions. I am extremely grateful to be apart of such a strong cohort of performers,” Elmquist said. 

Being nominated for the All-State Speech Festival is a big success within speech. It is possible for one to get perfect scores from all of the judges but still not make it in to All-State, yet four students out of the nine that went to state managed to be the ones to stay in mind and get the All-State nominations. 

“I’m really proud of the work I put in to research, write and rehearse my speech. I really enjoyed my time at the competitions. Obviously, I was nervous for my event, but I was also really curious to see everyone else perform. I am also very honored to have been selected to perform at All-State, which I have never done before. All-State was an important source of motivation for me. I really wanted to perform at All-State. I had a great time overall, and I hope I can go back again next year,” O’Loughlin said. 

Alongside the excitement and struggles of presenting their own pieces in front of experts, critiques and the rest of the audience, the students earned the opportunity to attend the festival all day and got the chance to watch the other best-of-the-best performers coming from all over the state of Iowa as well. 

“The struggles are so real. Writer’s block and procrastination definitely were my biggest challenges to overcome during speech, and losing motivation was something I really struggled with. However, getting to perform, watching people laugh at your jokes and seeing the No. 1 ratings really makes it all worth it. It was just a really great experience overall, I had a lot of fun watching other pieces and getting to perform my review in front of so many people was awesome,” Rohret said. 

Including all forms of delivery of a certain message including body language, speech allows students to be more confident and puts them a step ahead of their peers when it comes to the use of speech abilities on daily life.

“I am proud of myself for going to All-State because it not only helped me gain experience in public speaking, but also made me feel more confident because it proved to me that I am capable of good public speaking skills, which I believe is needed to be a successful professional,” Kalala said.

The biggest goal of the team in the following years is to recruit more students. “I am incredibly proud of the success this year brought. All-State was amazing. The students seemed to very enjoy it. My biggest goals for the next season are to recruit more students and establish student leadership. I would suggest coming to our showcase sometime this month to see what speech is really about,” Bettag said. 

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