Submitted by Shane Mauldin, McKinney ISD
As road trips go, the drive to San Antonio isn’t bad. It’s far enough away to provide a sense of travel, but close enough that even unenthusiastic tourists can endure it. Barring the occasional traffic snag, the journey is fairly easygoing.
But, for some 70,000 aspiring Texas band, orchestra and choir students, the journey to San Antonio — home to the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Clinic/Convention — is a long and demanding one. And, only a few music students complete it each year.
To be selected is the highest honor for a music student in Texas, and among those chosen for 2013 are eight students from McKinney Boyd High School and four students from McKinney North High School. Their invitation to perform at the TMEA All-State Clinic/Convention, held February 13 – 16 in San Antonio, was the culmination of months of hard work and intensive auditions.
McKinney ISD 2013 TMEA All-State Band Selections:
5A All-State Band
Cameron Bonner, Boyd, Bassoon
Tim Britt, Boyd, Bass Clarinet
Rajat Suresh, Boyd, Alto Saxophone
Conor Wagner, Boyd, Trumpet
Will Griffith, Boyd, Trombone
4A All-State Band
Oluwagbohunmi Fawehinmi, North, Bb Clarinet
James Lindell, North, Alto Clarinet
Ryan Pisciotta, North, Bass Clarinet
McKinney ISD 2013 TMEA All-State Choir Selections:
5A All-State Choir
Victoria Eacker, Boyd, Alto 2
Emily Price, Boyd, Soprano 2
Jeremy Wagner, Boyd, Bass 2
4A All-State Choir
Sydney Frodsham, North, Alto 1
For these students, the road to San Antonio began in early December with two rounds of tough regional auditions as judges chose the top musicians in each instrument or vocal category at 28 TMEA Regional Competitions across the state.
From there, they advanced to one of seven TMEA Area auditions where their talent and commitment was put to the test again with a new set of rigorous performance requirements. As each took his or her place alone onstage, there was far more than just musical talent on display. Preparing for those few moments in front of the judges requires steadfast dedication — hours upon hours spent in private lessons and daily rehearsals, the willingness to perform a piece over and over until it is perfect. And the confidence to bring it all together in the moment of truth.
With the stage empty and the final audition complete, the Area judges began the task of finalizing their All-State selection, of choosing the best from among a group of very talented singers and musicians.
“Being selected to the All-State Band, Choir or Orchestra is the highest honor that can be given to a high school instrumentalist or vocalist,” said Roy Renzenbrink, Director of Fine Arts for McKinney ISD. “The amount of work and dedication it takes to achieve this great honor is tremendous. We are extremely proud of each one of them and their accomplishments.”
“We acknowledge the great directors, private teachers, parents and families of these students for their tremendous support throughout this extremely competitive process,” Renzenbrink said.
For All-State Band qualifiers Cameron Bonner, Tim Britt, Rajat Suresh, Conor Wagner, Will Griffith, Oluwagbohunmi Fawehinmi, James Lindell and Ryan Pisciotta one final challenge remained: to prepare 20 assigned pieces for one more audition in San Antonio that would determine which of seven band ensembles they would perform with at the All-State Clinic. For All-State Choir qualifiers Sydney Frodsham, Victoria Eacker, Emily Price and Jeremy Wagner, the auditions were complete. They would each be placed in one of three All-State Choirs: Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir or Mixed Choir.
For all 12, the long journey to San Antonio culminated with the honor of performing before a packed house of 2,400 at the Lila Cockrill Theatre in downtown San Antonio — as members of the most prestigious high school musical assembly in Texas.