More than 70,000 hopeful young musicians began the journey. In the end, only the top 1 percent achieved the goal — to be selected to perform in one of 13 All-State ensembles at the 2012 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio on February 11. Throughout the demanding rounds of auditions, judges of the 2012 TMEA All-State Band, Choir and Orchestra competitions narrowed the field, accepting only the most gifted from among the ranks of talented performers. To be selected is the highest honor for a music student in Texas, and seven McKinney ISD students were among those chosen.
McKinney ISD 2012 All-State Band Selections
Caitlin Champiny, Eb Clarinet, McKinney Boyd, 5A All-State Band
Ashley Salazar, French Horn, McKinney High, 5A All-State Band
Carly Prince, Flute, McKinney High , 5A All-State Band
Lauren Allen, French Horn, McKinney North, 4A All-State Band
McKinney ISD 2012 All-State Choir Selections
Jeremy Wagner, Bass 2, McKinney Boyd, 5A All-State Choir
Mitchell Wassom, Bass 1, McKinney Boyd, 5A All-State Choir
Sydney Frodsham, Alto 1, McKinney North, 4A All-State Choir
The road to San Antonio began last fall at 28 TMEA Regional competitions held across the state. From among those performers, judges selected the top musicians in each instrument or vocal category to advance to one of seven TMEA Area auditions. At each stage of the process, students were challenged with performance requirements that called upon not only their talent, but their commitment. Preparing for those few moments spent 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. It’s a work ethic reflected in each of these students, an attitude manifested in the refinement of their music.
After the last notes faded at the Area competition, the judges completed their deliberations, and the seven McKinney ISD students they selected began making plans for a February trip to San Antonio. For Caitlin Champiny, Ashley Salazar, Carly Prince and Lauren Allen, qualifying for the 2012 TMEA Clinic/Convention means one more audition on February 9 to determine which of the seven band ensembles they will perform with on February 11. For All-State Choir qualifiers Jeremy Wagner, Mitchell Wassom and Sydney Frodsham the audition process is complete. They will each be placed in one of three All-State Choirs: Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir or Mixed Choir. For all seven, three days of rehearsals will culminate with the honor of performing before thousands at San Antonio’s Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as members of the most prestigious high school musical assembly in Texas.
“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,” says 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.”
Beyond the honor accorded to these All-State Band and Choir students, the distinction also opens doors of opportunity. “Each one of these talented students will likely receive scholarship money from many of our state’s fine universities and colleges,” says Renzenbrink. Caitlin Champiny, a senior at McKinney Boyd, has already been awarded a full scholarship by the University of Houston and an additional scholarship from TMEA. It’s an opportunity earned with talent, hard work and excellent guidance along the way. “We acknowledge the great directors, private teachers, parents and families of these students for their tremendous support throughout this extremely competitive process,” says Renzenbrink.
The journey from high school band halls and choir rooms to the 2012 TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio is a demanding one, requiring remarkable ability and hard work. Caitlin Champiny, Ashley Salazar, Carly Prince, Lauren Allen, Jeremy Wagner, Mitchell Wassom and Sydney Frodsham, are among the gifted few to arrive at the goal. For this, they deserve our recognition.