Cat Chat: Ikenna Okoro


A fellow Whitewater student, Ikenna Okoro – Senior- has been accepted into the GMEA All State Orchestra- Full Orchestra Division. He has put in all his effort to procure such a place in it, using interesting methods to pull off a successful audition. 

What instrument do you play and how long have you been playing?

“I play the violin and I’ve been playing it for six years.”

How did you hear about the audition for the All State Orchestra?

“My teacher, Mrs. Esterline-the orchestra director – told me about the audition. She pushed me towards it, to audition for it. “

Would you say it’s a big deal to get in the Full Orchestra?

“Yeah, because it’s normally in the top orchestra, the top players go to that orchestra – the way they do the rankings in the All State.”

How did you prepare for the audition?

“The way I prepped for the audition – I spent many weekends just practicing my excerpts, and getting feedback from Mrs. Esterline… and making sure that I practice them really well… Another thing I worked really hard on is, basically, fighting my nervousness, because I have this really bad thing with being nervous in auditions… The excerpts that I was given for my audition, I just kept practicing and practicing them, until I just basically didn’t feel really nervous, because I had done this many times. I know it’s really difficult to play an audition for a judge for a really important thing, and I know that can instill, you know, anxiousness within a person. It’s just like, once you do something so many times, you have to realize that, no matter what happens, whatever the outcome of the audition is, you know you worked really hard for the audition, and I think that’s kind of what I started to apply in my life.”

What were you feeling during the audition?

“I started to feel more confident in my audition because I worked really hard on it and I really just wanted to play my pieces for [it]. 

How do you feel you did?

“I think I did really [well]. I think it’s natural for us to get nervous before an audition, and right when I came into the audition, I guess, I felt a little nervous, but it didn’t matter… I didn’t stop. I just kept playing my piece and hoped for the best.”

How was the cite reading part of the audition?

“I actually prepped for that. So there’s this sight reading factory-the cite called The Sight Reading Factory- my teacher, Mrs. Esterline told me about it, and basically what I would do is I’d do it at the highest level because that’s the type of sight reading they would give you, and I just kept practicing it. So the sight reading [portion] wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, because I practiced for it previously.”