Saturday, March 2, 2024

All the way to the top — Two Granbury High School students earn chairs in All-State Band

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Two Pride of Granbury High School Band students were selected to perform with the 5A Texas All-State Symphonic Band in San Antonio Feb. 10 in a concert sponsored by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).

Seniors Layla Escatel, who plays the flute, and Ivan Perez, who plays the clarinet, were selected to be a part of the prestigious group after going through a lengthy and challenging audition process. The students had to compete at district, regional and area levels starting in September.

All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can earn. Over 72,000 student musicians across the state competed for a spot where 1,780 students were selected. There are 15 ensembles including bands, orchestras and choirs.

Each student must perform a piece of selected music in front of a panel of judges where they rank each instrument. Only the top 2.4% of musicians who initially auditioned became All-State musicians.

The All-State musicians will participate in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally recognized conductors to prepare for the performance that will take place at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.

This is Escatel’s second time to be selected for the All-State band; she described her first experience as memorable and knowledgeable.

“I am extremely grateful to have been selected for it again this year.” Escatel said. “The three days spent at the connection and rehearsals (last year) have changed my perspectives on music and taught me things I would’ve never learned without it. The music is extremely challenging yet chilling once they all put it together.”

“The experience was filled with so many different emotions from both spectrums. Determination and stress to joy and excitement,” Perez described. “I am very excited to have this opportunity of a lifetime.”

Chair placements will be determined based on recordings the students are required to make playing the audition materials. Following placement, the students will receive their music and practice as much as possible up until the performance Feb. 10.

For those interested in attending the convention to watch the performance, tickets will be available at the visitor’s registration booth located at the convention center. A single day adult ticket is $95 and a multi-day ticket is $150. High school and middle school students’ tickets will cost $15 with a school ID.