Thursday, April 25, 2024

Making music history

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Over the course of three months, three Lipan High School band students have made history for the district. Kerstin Hill, Rhett Pasket and Max Robinson made a name for themselves.

Hill and Robinson are seniors who play the flute and trombone, while Pasket is a junior who plays the bass clarinet. All three students have been involved in band since they were in fifth grade.

In December 2023, both Hill and Robinson competed in the All-Region band auditions and earned placement leading to a performance at Tarleton State University. Robinson also placed high enough to further advance to All-Area and ended up finishing seventh chair – making Lipan history.

“It was very, nerve-wracking, but making history for Lipan felt like I was trailblazing for the future of Lipan,” Robinson expressed.

On Feb. 24, Hill and Pasket competed at the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest in Stephenville. In this contest, students can perform a solo, or in a small group or ensemble.

“It not only involves hours of individual practice, but also scheduled time to rehearse with an accompanist, or with the rest of the ensemble,” Jameson Ash, Lipan High School band director noted.

The students choose the piece they will perform from a prescribed music list on the UIL website. These pieces are divided into three classes by difficulty.

“Unlike the All-Region band auditions, the students don’t compete against each other, but rather against a rubric,” Ash explained. “They receive a score of division 1 (superior), division 2 (excellent), division 3 (average), division 4 (below average), or division 5 (poor), for their performance.

Both Hill and Pasket earned division 1 ratings and with this being the first time Lipan has competed, they are the first to earn gold medals.

“I didn't expect to get a division 1 to be honest, but it feels good to be one of the first two to earn a division 1 for Lipan HS!” Pasket shared.

Hill said she finds the accomplishment empowering. “Coming from a small school, students are only offered so many opportunities, and I am so proud I was able to help pave the way for future students to have more opportunities.”