16 band members make Region Band, 7 earn opportunity to try out for All-State Band

Sydnie Harrell, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Junior Ava McCaleb

Senior Josephine Taitano

Junior Madilynne Mohr

Sixteen band members earned a chair in the 4A Region Band Contest this year, which gave them the opportunity to play in the Region Band concert in Pleasanton on Sat., Dec. 14.

“I feel like the band members put forward strong effort,” Head Band Director Jeff Miller said. “They have represented our school with pride.”

Seven members performed well enough in the tryouts that they advanced to Area Band, which allows them to try out for the All-State Band.

“I’m very nervous to try out for the All-State Band because I have to get first out of twenty people,” junior Caleb Martin said. “We’re trying out with the same music, but it is a longer version of each piece.”

Of the 16 members, seven earned positions in the symphonic band and nine earned a spot in the concert band. Additionally, four other students were named alternates.

“I placed sixth chair in concert band,” senior Clarissa Maldonado said. “I am pretty satisfied with how my audition turned out. Senior year has been busy, so it was difficult to find a lot of time to practice.”

The process for Region Band tryouts started in the beginning of the school year. Band students received the tryout music piece and began practicing during Applied Music classes and in Band class as soon as marching season ended.

“The music we got was pretty challenging,” senior Charlize Benavidez said. “Having two Applied Music class periods really allowed me time to practice and ask the directors for help.”

After practicing in the months prior to December, band members traveled with band directors, Mr. Miller, Tom Settles and James Quintero, to Jourdanton where they tried out in front of three judges.

“We had to play two etudes and four scales,” Maldonado said. “The audition goes in two rounds: one with all of our scales and an etude first and then another with our second etude.”

The number of students who tryout for a spot in Region Band differs depending on the instrument.

“I got eighth chair in concert band which means I got eighteenth out of the 52 flutes who tried out for a spot,” Benavidez said. “Eight flutes make the symphonic band, 10 make concert and two are named alternates.”

Once they completed their tryout, members waited for the results to be posted in the Jourdanton High School Cafeteria.

“It was nerve-wracking waiting for results,” Martin said. “To make it to Area, I had to make top four out of 49 people. I was shocked and relieved when I saw that I got fourth chair in symphonic band.”

The students who scored high enough earned chairs in either the symphonic or concert band. Because they got a chair, they performed in a concert held the following weekend.

“The concert went pretty well, even though we only had one and half days to practice our music,” junior Evan Priest said. “The whole experience was pretty exciting.”

While the seniors’ time in band is coming to an end, juniors and underclassmen still have next year’s marching season and Region Band tryouts to participate in.

“I put in a lot of practice this year,” Priest said. “I wasn’t completely satisfied with my results. I plan on making the symphonic Region Band next year, as it will be my last time trying out for it.”