SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The third time proved to be the charm for Wardlaw+Hartridge senior CJ Stueck.
Having twice qualified for the regional choir, the Scotch Plains resident was determined to take it one step higher and earn selection to the NJMEA All-State Choir and perform with the state’s finest singers. Mission accomplished.
CJ recently performed with the All-State Choir at two venues – the Atlantic City Convention Center and New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
“It was really cool,” said CJ, who was among 45 singers in the Tenor II section. “It was great standing next to these people who are striving to be music professionals.
I really wanted to make All-State to see if it was a different vibe. Of course, it’s a higher level and I wanted to see what it’s like.”
The All-State Choir held a summer rehearsal and met a few times in the fall before the performances. CJ gained confidence in his ability to perform at this level after a few rehearsals and continued work with his W+H music teacher, Sharon Byrne. He especially enjoyed singing Baba Yetu, a Swahili adaptation of the Lord’s Prayer.
“What makes this achievement really special is that I continued to work hard to reach it. It finally paid off and I got a spot,” CJ said. “I’m always going to put in the work to be a better singer and a better actor, but I don’t know where it’s going to take me at this point.”