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A scintillating speech season

April 2024

“The atmosphere of All State is awesome,” said junior Lucas Obert. “It’s really cool to be with people that are also so passionate.” 


On March 25, Obert performed at the 2024 All State Individual Speech Festival at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Obert participated in the solo musical theater category and sang “Heartbreaker” from the musical Bright Star. In the song, Jimmy Ray is singing about how he cannot fathom telling his former lover about the supposed death of their son. This song follows the news that Jimmy Ray’s father didn’t actually put his son up for adoption but instead threw him off a train. 


“My biggest obstacle was the song was very emotional,” Obert said. “Making the emotion look real and not awkward was important, and it was the hardest part.”


Obert advanced to All State as a result of earning a division one rating at district contest, as well as three-straight one ratings at state contest. 


“State speech at Kumper was the most rewarding part of the individual speech season,” Obert said. State is a competition compared to All State, which is a festival, so I had to compete against many people to get a one rating. The competitiveness was rewarding.”


In addition to earning an overall one rating at state competition, speech participants must also earn a judge’s recommendation to either perform at All State or be recognized as a non-performer. 


“It really is quite the challenge to get to All State,” said Jordan Kenkel, head coach for both large group and individual speech. “If you make it to All State, that student really is being recognized as one of the best performers in the state of Iowa.”


CR-B choir teacher Rebecca Fiscus enjoyed helping Lucas “block” his performance.

“My favorite part was just his hard work he put into it and helping him explore the character development within it,” Fiscus said. “We had a lot of conversations about character development and how his character would react to what the plot of the song was.”


Obert is already on a mission to repeat as an All State performer.


“I want to go down a different path,” Obert said. “I want to do something more vocally challenging and a more fun song compared to an emotional one.”


“I really cannot take credit for Lucas’s success this individual speech season,” Kenkel said. “He simply knew what he wanted to accomplish and he mastered every step in the process of trying to get to All State.”

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