Band students advance to All-State

Band students advance to All-State
Sophomore David Daniels, Junior Tatiana Marceleno and Senior Fred Walker will be a part of the All-State band this year after advancing from their auditions last weekend. (Ana Monzon photo)

Sixteen band students competed at Midway Junior High in Waco to earn a place in an All-State Band Jan. 8. Of the sixteen students, senior Fred Walker on tuba, junior Tatiana Marceleno on flute and sophomore David Daniels on oboe were named to the All-State band.

“I feel amazing, it’s like a dream come true,” Daniels said. “I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it, but it hasn’t fully sunk in yet. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time.”

The students received their audition music at the beginning of the school year. To advance to All-State, the performers had to compete at a regional level, a pre-area level and an area level. To prepare for the audition they had to dedicate many hours of practice.

“I practiced like crazy! I liked playing for the directors and the class because it gave me that nervous feeling I get before performing,” Marceleno said. “It really helped me prepare for my real audition.”

With the potential of gaining scholarships and recognition, some of the students were nervous during their audition, but they all use different strategies of coping with their performance in front of judges.

“Instead of focusing on the competition I think of it as though I’m performing for all the other people and for their enjoyment,” Walker said.

The nervousness doesn’t end with just the audition. After everyone has played, the students wait for the moment when the results are posted to see if they rank among the best high school musicians in the state.

“Oh my gosh! Waiting for results was killer. It was so nerve racking,” Marceleno said. “I was nervous for the playing part, but when it came to waiting for results, the nervous and stressed feeling was ten times worse.”

After seeing the results the students put their minds and nerves at ease and the etudes they’ve been playing for the past five months to rest.

“When I saw the results I didn’t believe it at first. I turned around to my friend and asked  ‘Did I really make All-State?!’ and then started hugging her,” Marceleno said. “I’m still in disbelief now, but it’ll probably hit me when I get back to school and the directors are talking about it. Knowing that our flute area is one of the toughest in Texas has really made me think about how I beat out thousands of flute players in the state, but it hasn’t fully kicked in.”

The process of making All-State is not short lived. The audition music is learned and practiced to perfection over the course of five months and the auditions themselves can last anywhere from two to four hours.The time spent working on their pieces helped them  achieve one of the top  honors in the state, but for some it has also taught them lessons about life.

“I kind of knew what to expect since I made it to area last year, but this time the process has taught me to be more confident in myself. I thought I did totally bad, but when I found out results I realized I must have done good,” Marceleno said. “When the All-State trip comes around, I’ll have experienced that amazing feeling of being in an All-State band.”

The students will now take a trip to San Antonio and participate in the state music convention. There they will learn new music and give a performance to other students and educators in one of the All-State bands.

“I’m most looking forward to the music! I’ve heard so many things about how amazing the music is and I can’t wait,” Marceleno said. ” I’m really looking forward to meeting other talented musicians and just having an amazing experience.”

Head Band Director Jeff  King says he is extremely proud of what the students have accomplished this year especially those who auditioned for the All-State positions. He said that of all seven music areas in the state to compete in Area D is easily the toughest.

“All three of these musicians competed at the highest level to achieve recognition this past weekend,” King said.  “They represent the top 1% of all the musicians that began the audition process.”