WEEKI WACHEE — Weeki Wachee High School senior Alexis Pletincks and junior Kris Hamlin did so well in preliminary testing to participate at the Florida Music Educators Association All-State Clinic-Conference, they are exempt from future auditioning.
"I got the highest composite score of all females that auditioned for state," 17-year-old Alexis said.
She scored a perfect 40 on an alto sight-reading test and 49 of 50 on a musicianship test. Her composite score was second-highest in the state, only behind a boy from another county.
"One tenor beat me out," Alexis said.
She was the only female alto in the state to have a perfect sight-reading score.
Kris, 16, had a 39-of-40 score on his bass sight-reading test, one of nine basses to score at that level. He scored 49 of 50 on his musicianship test, giving him a composite score that ranked him fourth in the state.
Alexis and Kris will go to Tampa for the Jan. 9-12 event. There will be a leadership retreat on that Wednesday. On Thursday, they will see their music for the first time and meet the rest of the all-state sight-reading chorus. They will perform on Friday.
All-state showcases four choruses: sight-reading, men's, women's and mixed.
The students' chorus teacher is Morgan Burburan.
"This is huge!" she said. "The fact that they're No. 2 and No. 4 in the state is just amazing."
This is Alexis' fifth trip to all-state for chorus. She first qualified in the seventh grade, but was also eligible for band (she plays the French horn) and opted to go with band that year.
She has been in the sight-reading all-state chorus for the past two years.
Alexis says the opportunities have benefited her.
"I always enjoy all-state because there are many, many people better than me," she said.
She remembers, as a younger student, looking up to the older ones.
"The seniors were sight-reading stuff I wouldn't dream of doing on my own," she said. "Now, as a senior, people will be leaning on me. It was strange grasping the idea of that."
Kris is not as experienced. "This is my first year going to all-state," he said.
Besides singing, Kris plays the piano.
Weeki Wachee High had an all-state workshop the week before school started to help students prepare. During the summer, Alexis offered workshops for middle and high schools students at her home.
Alexis will be heading off to college next year. She is a little torn between whether to focus on chorus or band — but only a little.
"I enjoy choral music and I love band, but I find it easier to teach choral," she said. "I want to be a choral music educator."
But, she added, if the school she attends has a marching band, she would seriously consider signing up for that.
Alexis is looking at Florida State University, Stetson University, the University of Tennessee and Belmont University in Nashville.
She is the daughter of David and Sandy Pletincks of Weeki Wachee. Her father is the choral director at Powell Middle School.
Since Kris is a junior, he has time to fit in another all-state appearance before he heads off to college.
He is interested in majoring in musical theater and is looking at several schools, including the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, Elon University in North Carolina, Rollins College in Winter Park and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
He is the son of Jon and Shirley Hamlin of Spring Hill.