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Jacob Smith (l) and Sam Potts (r)

 Eastside students Jacob Smith and Sam Potts were recently selected to participate in the prestigious All State High School Chorus. They were the only high school students from Newton County Schools to make All State this year.

According to Potts and Smith, making All State is no easy task. The very challenging auditions consist of memorizing a solo and performing it before two judges, reading three examples of music that have never been seen before with no assistance, singing three memorized scales for judges, and taking a written test with listening examples, Italian vocabulary words, tempos, key signatures, and more. And that’s only for the first audition!

"We are so proud to have had Jacob Smith and Sam Potts represent Eastside High School in All State Chorus this year,” said Joel Singleton, choral director at Eastside High. “Sam was selected for a sixth consecutive year and was recognized at the final performance for this accomplishment.  Jacob was selected for the first time as a high school student, but also attended as a middle school singer.  These two young men continue a long standing tradition of Eastside High School being represented at the annual All State Event." 

For Potts, this marks the end of an era. A high school senior, he has made All State Chorus all six years he was eligible to participate from middle school on through high school.

“It’s definitely one of my proudest achievements throughout middle school and high school,” said Potts. “I’ve enjoyed it so much and it’s such an honor to attend. The singers there are really talented and have a driving passion to get the work done. It’s just an incredible experience.”

Potts added that he plans on pursuing his passion for music in college and beyond. He will be attending Mercer University in the fall with plans to obtain a degree in music education and eventually become a choral teacher.

A freshman, Smith has also made All State for multiple years in a row—from middle school on up.

“This is the third year I’ve made it to All State,” said Smith. “It’s such an honor. You go there and there’s a greater expectation. People have practiced the music before they get there and they’ve practiced it almost for fun, yet it’s even more professional than a chorus class.”

He added, “music by definition is passion—an arrangement, especially choral music, because it has more meaning.

At this point he’s not sure if he wants to make a career out of music. “It could potentially be part of a career,” he said. “But I know it is hard to make a career out of. Like they say on tv, one in a million make it.”

“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of both of these young men,” said Bart Buff, assistant principal of Eastside High School. “Being selected for All State once is no small task, but to have been selected for this prestigious honor multiple times, as both have, is truly amazing.  It is a fitting reflection of their talent and skill, as well as Mr. Singleton’s direction of our choral program.” 

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools at