All-State Attendees Share Advice for Fellow Musicians


Seniors Phong Nguyen (left) and Cassandra Humarang (right)

Kailee Abendroth (she/they) 11th Grade, Chief Editor

If the odds of success were one-in-a-thousand, would it be worth the attempt? Mariner’s own Cassandra Humarang and Phong Nguyen think so. The two seniors have been selected to attend one of the biggest musical events in Washington for those in band at the High School level. Not only is this an event that would give an amazing experience, but it’s also a shared goal for many.

“It’s something that you work towards,” says Nguyen. He says he didn’t find out about All-State until his sophomore year, which seems to be the common year.

“I’ve been planning on doing it [auditioning] since my sophomore year,” Humarang says, “…It’s my senior year and it’s the last time I could ever have the chance.” With Covid, Humarang feels like she’s making up for the lost time. “I wanted to do more higher things, I wanted to try out for more things, to make the most out of what happened with covid.” Though, she says she’s gotten more comfortable with auditioning and playing in front of others in comparison to her previous years.

Even with confidence, nerves can still arise. “You never know what level you should be at,” Nguyen says, “…It’s really stressful not knowing if you could ever be good enough.” Stress affects everybody differently, some may crack under the pressure but Nguyen says he embraces it and actually works quite well under pressure.

Though trying out for big opportunities can be scary, whether it be musically or not, Humarang encourages stepping out of your comfort zone. “Making mistakes is normal, it’s natural,” She says “You just need to learn from them.” The way to learn from these mistakes? “Practice,” Nguyen says, “It’s always practice.” It’s important to remember to take breaks though! Humarang says that the best way to prevent burnout is to recognize your boundaries and take breaks when necessary!