Four students advance to All-State Band

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Laurie Carrillo

This year, senior percussionist Baxter Fry became one of four All-State band musicians.

Veronika Boyrie, Staff Writer

Despite the pandemic, four band students earned a spot in the Texas All-State Band. These students will perform virtually during the annual TMEA Clinic/Convention in February.

Students who advanced to All-State include junior oboe player James Nguyen, sophomore English horn player Meibeth Cannon, junior tenor trombone player Demetri Tyra and senior percussionist Baxter Fry.

Students received music back in August and began the first round of auditions in November.

“I have been practicing and playing since August when we first got our music,“ Cannon said. “I am a perfectionist and I really wanted my recordings to be perfect.”

In previous years, students would audition live for a group of judges. This year, students had a five-day window to record and submit their auditions through TMEA’s Music First program.

“I made a goal last year to make it to the All-State band but COVID happened,” Tyra said. “I was scared, but I also saw an opportunity to do a lot better than I had in previous years.”

This unprecedented process required new flexibility.

“It was different, more stressful than last year,” Fry said. “I missed the traditional audition process of playing in front of the judges.”

None of these students had advanced beyond Area auditions before, and their success came as a welcome surprise.

“I was in utter disbelief,” Nguyen said. “I had to look over the results again to make sure it was my name on the screen.”