2020 All-State Chorus

2020 Nebraska All-State Chorus Update:

Audition and Virtual Ensemble Guidelines:  Please read carefully

All-State Chorus Conductor Bio

Dr. Lee Nelson is the Patricia R. Zahn Chair in Choral Conducting and director of choral activities at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Nelson conducts the Wartburg Choir and Ritterchor (Men’s Choir) and teaches beginning, advanced conducting and choral literature at Wartburg College. He also serves as the artistic director of Christmas with Wartburg. Wartburg College recognized Nelson’s work by awarding him the John O. Chellevold Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service.

Under Dr. Nelson’s direction, the choir has performed at multiple ACDA conventions, including the 2017 National Convention, and an unprecedented performance for the White House and the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Internationally renowned composer Morten Lauridsen praised Nelson and the Wartburg Choir’s performance of his “O Magnum Mysterium” stating: “It was in the top echelon of any performance of that piece by any choir that I have ever heard.” The choir was honored as the national winners of The American Prize, College/University Choir Division in 2017. Nelson and the Wartburg Choir tour throughout the United States every year and they have sang in 12 different countries over the last 10 years.

A highly sought-after conductor, clinician and adjudicator, Nelson has directed all state and honor choirs throughout the United States and internationally. He has been invited to conduct at Carnegie Hall in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019 & 2020. Earlier in his career, Nelson won the National ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition in Los Angeles and he received the Outstanding Young Choral Conductor of the Year, awarded by ACDA of Minnesota.

A champion of contemporary music, Nelson regularly commissions and performs new works of choral literature. ECS Publishing distributes the Lee Nelson Choral Series both nationally and internationally. Dr. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona.

Audition Information


Music of Stillness by Elaine Hagenberg.  Available via ePrint at J.W. Pepper.



August 17         Registration for All-State Auditions, regular fee of $20 through Sept. 7
September 8    LateRegistration for All-State Auditions through Sept. 14

September 24         Choir Audition window opens at 12:00 pm
September 28*        Choir Audition window closes at 5:00 pm*

October 19       Announcement of Selected Ensembles at 8:00 am

*On September 24 Opus experienced a major slow down of their servers. This was due to many states closing auditions this weekend, and their servers were just overloaded. They have taken measures to alleviate the situation, but there is no guarantee that it won't happen again. Given the unique situations that many schools find themselves in due to COVID-19, and to ensure fairness to all students auditioning, NMEA is extending the audition deadline for all ensembles to Monday, September 28 at 5:00 pm. If you have any questions or concerns please email Rick Mitchell at ricmitchell@kearneycats.com.



Audition Region Guide (click to download)

2020 Auditions Manual (click to download)

2020 Chorus Audition Manual (click to download)



NMEA will again utilize the services of OpusEvent to collect student auditions.  The format and procedures will be much the same as last year, with a couple notable changes.  Also, each auditionee will perform a chromatic scale, a cappella, as detailed below. Rehearsal tracks for scales and arpeggios can be found at the bottom of the page.

Audition excerpts for Music of Stillness have been released. Click here to go to the page. (You must be a member and logged in to view the page).

Scale (see All-State scale tracks at the bottom of the page)

  • Soprano and Tenor: F major ascending and descending one time only a cappella
  • Alto and Bass: B flat major ascending and descending one time only a cappella

Arpeggio (see All-State arpeggio tracks at the bottom of the page)

  • Soprano and Tenor: E flat major one time only with underlying chords provided
  • Alto and Bass: C major one time only with underlying chords provided

Chromatic Scale (see All-State chromatic scale tracks at the bottom of the page)

  • Soprano and Tenor: Ascending and descending chromatic scale beginning on E flat.
  • Alto and Bass:  Ascending and descending chromatic scale beginning on C.
  • Like major scales performed in auditions past, the starting pitch will be given.  Following a count off, the students will sing a chromatic scale with the aid of a click track.



First recording segment through Opus (please use the following order):

  1. Major Scale (Soprano/Tenor F, Alto/Bass B flat)
  2. Arpeggios (Soprano/Tenor E flat, Alto/Bass C)
  3. Chromatic Scale (Soprano/Tenor E flat, Alto/Bass C)

Second recording segment through Opus:

  • “The Music of Stillness” excerpt, measures 1-66

See audition manual for additional instructions.

Note: cue-sized notes for Sop 1 in measures 51-53 are not required. Judges will not exclude a Sop 1 audition for not singing these notes. However, if the Sop 1 auditioning feels that the cued notes show off their strength of range, they are allowed to do so. 

Contact Lynn Hall, Director of Choral Affairs, (dlhall@heartlandschools.net) with any questions.



On October 19, students will be notified of their acceptance into the All-State Choir.  Those students will then produce a video utilizing the conducting video produced by Dr. Nelson for the purpose of being used in the virtual choir.  It will be critical, in order to produce a quality virtual presentation, that the students carefully follow this video while creating their own.  Exact technical directions (sound quality, use of head phones, etc…) as well as directions on proper performance attire are forthcoming.  It is asked that these videos be submitted by Nov. 6, 2020. 

2020 All-State Chorus Scales/Arepeggio Tracks

More InfoHide Info ]
Tracks for major scale/arpeggio/chromatic scale for high and low voices.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Soprano & Tenor - Scales/Apreggio MP3 (2.61 MB)  more ] Administration 9/1/2020
Alto & Bass - Scales/Arpeggio MP3 (2.61 MB)  more ] Administration 9/1/2020