A Singing Sensation

Conestoga Senior, Lily Drannen, Has Accomplished Something Many Have Not


Cassandra Vallis

Senior Lily Drannen sings in the NMEA All-State Chorus. This year, chorus members recorded their parts individually, which will be compiled into a virtual performance.

MURRAY, NEB.-In the past 10 years there have only been three Conestoga students that have made it into the Nebraska Music Education Association’s All-State Chorus. Senior Lily Drannen has just become the newest member of that exclusive club. The All-State Chorus is a specially selected group of high school students brought together from all around the state to make up one huge choir.

In past years, All-State Chorus members would all travel to one place and work on pieces of music for three days. However, due to the pandemic, things will be different this year. The All-State Chorus will perform virtually, and there will only be one piece of music performed. Chorus members have all recorded themselves singing, and their videos will be edited together into a virtual performance.

“It honestly hasn’t really hit me yet,” said Drannen. She is still in utter shock and amazement that she is where she’s at today.

Drannen talks about her inspirations, including alumni Zeke Rouse, as well as teachers Cassi Vallis and Jessica Schlichtemeier, but her most important influence is her mother. “The one person who truly motivates and inspires me the most is my mother,” said Drannen. She has always taught Lily the ways of music, taking her to see musicals and shows, and letting her listen to all of her favorite music.

As a girl who has always loved singing and grew up doing it, there is a moment of astonishment knowing that all you have worked for and everything you love has finally paid off.