Conexión San Ángelo/ Staff report

SAN ANGELO –14 Central High School band members competed at the area all state audition in Midland, Texas last Saturday, January 13. 

Taking top honors was Carson Clay, son of Ms. Torrey Clay. Clay, selected as First Chair tuba in our area, earned the distinguished title of Texas Music Educators Association All State Musician. Clay is also the drum major for the Mighty Bobcat Band. This selection placed Carson in the top ½ of one percent of high school musicians in the state. Also, Baily Bartholomeu was selected as the 2nd alternate on piccolo, placing her in the top 5 percent of Texas high school musicians.

The Texas Music Educators Association All State band process begins in August when the audition music is released.

Students must then work vigorously to master the three etudes, many taking hours of private lessons to have a chance to compete. From there, students first audition for the region bands consisting of competing schools from Midland, Odessa, Abilene, San Angelo and the surrounding region. The young musicians must, not only make the region band, but place at the top of their sections to make the area cut and advance on to compete for a coveted position in the Texas all-state honor groups.

 At the area level, our San Angelo students faced head to head competition from El Paso to Amarillo, Canyon, Lubbock, Frenship, Midland, Odessa, Abilene, Wichita Falls and schools in between.  Statewide, more than 80,000 band students began the competition series at the beginning of the year resulting in the selection of the top 200 musicians in the state of Texas.

Carson will travel to San Antonio for the Texas Music Educators Association State Convention for clinics and rehearsals, culminating the four-day event with concerts presented of the all-state groups. These performances on February 17th are unmatched world-wide of a student representative ensemble and are considered the most elite group of young musicians in the United States.

NOTE: 32 students were selected to the region band with 14 students making the cut, advancing to area.

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