It was a full day of auditions for students all across our Area (five Regions) at Orange Grove High School on Saturday January 11, 2020!
These students had all qualified in their individual Region Band Auditions to advance to this level – all vying for a spot in the 4A All-State Band. Seven of these students qualified from the Warhorse Band and had practiced and prepared for months for this opportunity! These students included: Josephine Taitano, Flute; Madilynne Mohr, Clarinet; Brian Schaefer & Sydney Weyel, trumpet; Isabella Elias, Baritone; Gilbert Iglesias, Bass Trombone; and Caleb Martin, Percussion. Having seven of our top students advance to Area is a great honor and a sign that our Band program continues to grow and become stronger overall – these are our musical leaders! All of the students who attended – some from as far away as Rio Grande City – all knew the odds of making the All-State Band were slim, so the competition was very stiff.
At the end of the day we celebrated as Brian Schaefer, trumpet, came in 2nd out of 29 trumpets – and earned a chair in the Texas 4A All-State Symphonic Band!! Wow! Brian is only a sophomore, and has a history of auditioning well. He made first chair in the Region 11 Middle School All-Region Band, and this year again earned 1st chair in the High School Region Band!
For the Devine High School Warhorse Band, this is the 2nd year in a row a student has earned a chair in the All-State Band! We also had several of our students place very high in the auditions – including one who only missed the All-State cut-off by one…spot! (In 2019 Devine senior band member Amy Robinson earned a chair in the All-State Symphonic Band with her Bassoon.)
Brian will be attending the TMEA Convention in San Antonio on February 12-15th. They will rehearse all day, every day with the acclaimed conductor from The University of North Texas, Eugene Corporon. The Texas 4A All-State Band will perform on Saturday February 15th at 10:00 am in the Lila Cockrell Auditorium. These concerts are always the highlights of the Convention each year – an annual conference of Texas music educators (30,000).
As their Director I am extremely proud of all the hard work and dedication these students have exhibited – these are fine examples of what is right about our young generation!! I tell our students all the time, “there is no difference between you and the student from Houston…. It’s all about taking a passion toward what you enjoy and then being willing to do the hard work to succeed!!” Job well done!!!
By Jeff Miller
Devine High School
Director of Bands