These students were selected from a rigorous audition process as the top student-musicians representing over 12,000 schools throughout Illinois. Of roughly 2,400 students that auditioned, only a fraction of students were selected to participate in the event. The six RCHS students selected to participate were Rylan Craig (senior/choir), Austin Vaughn (senior/band), Victoria Zwilling (junior/orchestra), Jozalyn Houser (junior/band), Kyle Rennier (junior/band), & Emma Wells (sophomore/band)
Along with music, Rylan has also participated in 4 musicals and plays as a sound and lighting technician. He is also the current Executive Board President of the RCHS Student Council which he has participated in for four years. Rylan plans to attend college in the fall studying Architecture.
Austin played bassoon (Sophomore-Senior years) for the Honors Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Bands, bassoon and tenor saxophone for Jazz Bands (Freshman and Senior years), and he has participated in the Orchestra Pit for The World According to Snoopy, where he played baritone saxophone and Elf: The Musical, where he played bassoon and baritone saxophone. Austin has played baritone, bassoon, alto saxophone, and baritone saxophone in the RCHS Pep bands.
Austin has also been a member of the RCHS Choir since his sophomore year. Austin has participated in the 2019, 2020, & 2021 ILMEA District Festivals, where he played 2nd bassoon (sophomore year) and 1st bassoon (senior year). He is an active member of Tri-M Chapter 8170 since his sophomore year and has served as Chapter Historian all three years. During Austin's senior year, he will participate as an All-State bassoonist in Peoria in January, 2022, where he will be in the All-State Band.
Victoria Zwilling has performed as an oboist with the Honors Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band at Richland County High School. Victoria is also a member of the Marching Tigers Front Ensemble. She serves as Vice President of the RCHS Chapter of Tri-M Music Honors Society. She represented RCHS at the Lincoln Trail Band Festival in 2020. Victoria is a junior this year and is looking forward to future musical opportunities.
She is a four-time recipient of the 1st Superior rating at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Solo & Ensemble Contest. She represented RCHS at the Lincoln Trail Band Festival in 2020. She has also been a high honors student every year in high school thus far. Jozalyn is a junior this year and is looking forward to future opportunities during her high school years.
So far, Emma has been a high honors student for her first two years of high school. She is now a sophomore and is awaiting future opportunities during her high school career.