TOP NOTES: Band members earn all-state honors

SIDNE VALADEZ, Staff writer

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The Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) audition process is designed to provide both recognition and meaningful musical experience for Texas’ student musicians. Selection to a TMEA performing organization requires stamina, talent, and a strong work ethic. The selection process has no favorites because every audition is blind. Regardless of background, only the best student musicians survive this process.

Jaime Llamas, Katy Hall, Shae Cherry, Juan Pedroza, and Harley Smith qualified to go to state for band. They competed in San Antonio February 6 and had hours long of rehearsal with the best players in the state of texas and well-known conductors.

“For me it was such a humbling and rewarding experience” said Hall, senior bass clarinetist and two time all-state player. “Personally, I had been working for a chair in the all state band since 2014 and a lot of people didn’t believe in me so to have made it for the second time was so great. Getting to share the stage with the best of the best in Texas, and just to realize that you are one of the best among that group is such a wonderful feeling.”

Smith, senior flute player, said that it was worth all the hours of practice and hard work. She was very happy with finally making state her senior year.

“Going to TMEA was really fun, there was a lot of places to eat on the riverwalk, and I met some cool flute players like me who had the same goal,” she said. “I got to experience state with four of my band mates and it was just something that i’m going to remember forever.”

Pedroza, the only sophomore in the band who made all-state, he hopes to repeat his performance, he said.

“It was a really fun experience. I just hope to aim higher next year.”

***

These students qualified for a spot in the ATSSB (Association of Texas Small School Bands) Symphonic Band with their chairs listed below:

Jaime Llamas – 10th chair trumpet

Juan Pedroza – 20th chair trumpet

Harley Smith – 8th chair flute

Katy Hall – 3rd chair bass clarinet

Cherry could not audition for the ATSSB concert bands because she also held a place in the ATSSB Jazz Band, earning second chair on tenor trombone in the ATSSB Jazz Ensemble.

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