Cambridge High School senior Evy Todd recently earned a significant honor when she auditioned for and was selected to sing in the Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) All-State Choir.
As one of only 22 sopranos out of hundreds that auditioned to be selected for the All-State Chorus, Todd is in rare company. She is the first person from Cambridge High School to be selected for the All-State Chorus since her father and CHS choir director Aaron Todd was selected to perform 30 years ago in 1994.
All-State Choir Soprano 1 Evy Todd with her father and CHS Choir Director Aaron Todd who was an All-State Choir participant in 1994.
“This is the highest honor a high school vocalist can receive in Ohio,” the director Todd said. “This is not a district, or even a regional honor, it is the entire state of Ohio. This a huge deal for Evy and the vocal music department at CHS.”
The younger Todd is thrilled with the opportunity to participate but is more excited with the idea that her success will draw positive attention to the fledgling vocal music department at Cambridge.
The choir program at Cambridge was defunct for several years but is being brought back to life by Aaron Todd who was hired on the part-time basis a few years ago with the promise that he would be hired fulltime if he could grow the program to the point a fulltime director was needed. Last year, Todd was hired full-time.
“A big step has been taken,” the younger Todd said. “I think that having been in choir such a short time, it really reflects how effective this program has been. My being selected for All-State Choir doesn’t just represent our school, it represents our program well.
“We have a lot of talent in our choir, and I am hoping my being selected will help the entire choir be noticed and get a little bit of the spotlight” Todd continued. “A lot of time and effort that my classmates put into choir and band is overlooked. The music program is overlooked, it’s overshadowed by our sports teams. So I think this honor is important as it can shine a light on some students who are doing some pretty incredible things.”
The journey to All-State choir started in late spring when Evy, her director/father Aaron, and her vocally-talented mother Bridget began to look for an audition piece. Audition music options are the same options available for the solo and ensemble judged performances each spring.
The previous two years, once solo and once as part of the ensemble, Evy has sung a Class A piece – the most challenging music – and earned a superior rating. The harder part was finding a song that fit her voice and style that would allow her audition to stand out from the rest.
“Part of the process as a director is knowing what song to choose,” Aaron Todd said. “Since she is my daughter, that helps a lot.
“I wasn’t sure what we were going to do, as the choices were slim, but then I saw a piece that Julie Andrews had performed,” Aaron continued. “There is an English, kind of a light sprightliness to it that fit her light soprano voice to a T.”
Evy recorded the solo and provided the required vocal range demonstration to the judges who selected her as a soprano 1 in the State Choir.
“It is the equivalent of a sports team going to state or a wrestler going to state,” Aaron said. “It is about as big of deal as you are going to achieve at the high school level.”
Aaron should know as he was selected for and participated in the All-State choir in 1994 – a mere 30 years ago.
“It’s going to be amazing for her to be around people just as talented if not more talented,” the proud father said. “They are all like-minded and everybody is sleeping and breathing music. She only gets a little taste of that here because it is just a part of her day. At All-State Choir, she will be fully emersed in music.”
All-State Choir is February 1-3, 2024, at the Columbus Convention Center. A closed-to-the-public performance is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2.
If you do want to see Todd perform, you may be able to see her singing in the school choir or participating in solo and ensemble events. She also sings in the Christ Global Methodist Church Choir. She is a flutist and the field commander for the High School marching band. She has also participated in Youthfest, a musical camp at Muskingum University.
“I enjoy singing very much,” Evy said. “I’ve been singing since I was born. I think my first performance was when I just turned four. It was for my church’s children’s fellowship, a little Christmas thing, and I had a solo.”
She is hoping to continue with music as she moves onto college next year. She currently is considering Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, but I also looking at options outside the Buckeye State.
“I am thinking about majoring in music,” Todd said. “But if I’m not majoring in music and performing vocally or instrumentally, I would like to at least minor in music.”
The selection to the All-State choir will also help her get accepted to a music program at a college and probably ensure her some scholarship money as well.
“Going in person for auditions came to a halt with COVID,” the older Todd pointed out. “Colleges had to figure out what criteria or measuring stick they were going to use to assess the talent and get singers and musicians to come their schools. They decided to use the All-State Choir and Band as that gauge.
“If you were selected as an all-state participant, you will be offered scholarships without even having to audition,” Todd continued. “To have that in her back pocket is a good deal.”
At school, Evy is involved in the Spanish Club, Ohio Model United Nations, and the secretary of the National Honor Society.
In addition to her parents Aaron and Bridget Todd, Evy has a brother Evan Todd.
She also has a lot of musically inclined friends with whom she is happy to share the spotlight.