Freshman flautist makes All-State

Katie Mons

Gabriela Nisly ’15 wakes up bright an early to be at school by 6:15 am on a Saturday. Why? To get on a bus and drive to Fairfield, Iowa to audition for All-State. When she returns to Iowa City around 8:20pm, she’s a member of the All-State band.

Nisly describes the day as stressful. She talks about waiting for five hours just to do her first audition, and another huge chunk of time before her recall audition. She also mentioned that it was scary when she heard how good the other flutists sounded.

“Most of the day, I tried to distract myself,” said Nisly, when asked how she felt during the day.

One of the reasons Nisly decided to try out for All-State is simply because playing flute is one of her favorite things to do. 

“If there’s an audition, I’ll take it,” said Nisly, “I like to challenge myself.”

Nisly says having made All-State hasn’t really hit her yet. Going to Fairfield, she didn’t think she would make it due to the pretty intense level of competition. She says she is amazed to have made it. Her teacher, Megan Hofeldt, felt good about Nisly going to audition.

“I knew going into the audition that she was incredibly prepared with her etudes, solo, and scales and that she had the consistency in her playing as well as the mental preparation to stay calm during the auditon,” said Hofeldt, “Not only was she prepared, but I think she was very excited to play for the judges and I’m sure her energy and musicality made her shine in the audition.”

Nisly hopes to play in college, and dreams of being a professional musician one day. Hofeldt also believes she will be successful.

“Gabby most definitely has a future as a professional musician. She has the dedication, work-ethic, talent, and a great love of music,” said Hofeldt. 

Even though the day was filled with pressure, stress and intense competition, Nisly says the day was definitely a good experience.