Bands students advance to Area


Laura Smith

Seniors Tony Hoffman, Isaac Rosales and Adam Soliz practice during activity period.

Students who qualified at the All-Region auditions Nov. 27 will advance to Area Jan. 13. The All-Region auditions were held at Amarillo High, where freshman Charlie Neal placed second chair in the percussion section.

“It’s honestly a surprise,” Neal said. “People have always told me, ‘You’re a prodigy, you’re good at everything,’ but I work hard for what I want. My work trying to make the All-Region Band has paid off, and then I get to go try to do it again at state.”

Students receive the competition music in early August. Band director Mike Sheffield said the music can be extremely challenging.

“The music is selected from etude books,” Sheffield said. “It’s not actual band music. ‘Etude’ is French for ‘study,’ so the music is written by specific performers on their instrument to address certain technical or musical issues. It’s usually very difficult, a lot of times more difficult than what we actually have to do in our band music.”

It’s usually very difficult, a lot of times more difficult than what we actually have to do in our band music.”

— Mike Sheffield

During auditions, students are grouped in rooms by instrument and individually perform for judges from various schools before their peers.

“It’s like a blind audition,” Neal said. “I was one of the lucky ones. I’m getting to go to Area this year as a freshman. I’ll have another few months to work on the same etudes and try to perfect them, and then I try to go compete for state.”

Students who placed high enough will participate in a mid-January clinic and concert.

“They will go and work with a clinician, an expert that comes from outside of our region,” Sheffield said. “They’ll put together a concert in two days and deliver the concert. The learning experience in being with players of that level is what makes that so much fun.”

Sheffield said he was proud of how the students placed.

“It’s a pretty fantastic honor for the students to get to make it to region band, and it’s a very big salute to them if they can make the area band,” Sheffield said. “I am very proud to get to be a part of that and get to watch them do so well. I don’t feel like it’s as much my input as them grinding away at their music and doing the hard work on their own. I’m really glad it paid off for them.”


4th chair- Bella Haynes – Symphonic
8th chair- Bonnie McKinney – Symphonic
9th chair- Jewelie Rasmussen – Symphonic
2nd chair- Macy McClish – Concert
6th chair- Hannah Hamil – Concert

2nd chair- Tobin Brooks – Symphonic

6th chair- Maggie Bell – Symphonic
9th chair- Emma Irlbeck – Symphonic
10th chair- Emily Ray – Symphonic
12th chair- Calvin Burns – Symphonic
6th chair- Taelyn Ulch – Concert
8th chair- Kathryn Gill – Concert
9th chair- Arian Howard – Concert
11th chair- Morgan Howard – Concert

1st chair- Joseph Williams – Symphonic

1st chair- Meghan Brooks – Symphonic
4th chair- Katherine Clark – Concert

Alto Saxophone
1st chair- Braden Lefevre – Symphonic
1st chair- Natalie Lopez – Alternate

Tenor Saxophone
2nd chair- Michael Robinson – Symphonic

Baritone Saxophone
1st chair- Nathan Armstrong- Symphonic

2nd chair- Cory Robbins -Symphonic
5th chair- Cody Clark – Symphonic
6th chair- Ian Hughes – Symphonic
7th chair- Aubyn Nall – Symphonic
2nd chair- Antonio Ortiz – Concert
8th chair- Ailisa Kelch – Concert
11th chair- Bret Ramirez – Concert

French Horn
3rd chair- Aryauna Thompson – Symphonic
7th chair- Wade House – Symphonic
2nd chair- Aaron Neeley – Concert
3rd chair- Aleah Appel – Concert
5th chair- Caroline Ragland – Concert
6th chair- Ericka Ortiz – Concert

Tenor Trombone
2nd chair- Issac Rosales – Symphonic
3rd chair- Adam Soliz – Symphonic
6th chair- Talyn Kuster – Concert
10th chair- Tanner Mahan – Alternate

Bass Trombone
1st chair- Tony Hoffman – Concert

4th chair- Christopher Hernandez – Concert

3rd chair- Travis Roberts – Symphonic
1st chair- Coryn Perkul – Concert

2nd chair- Charles Neal – Symphonic
3rd chair – Cambry King – Concert
6th chair- Evely Ludington – Concert
8th chair – Raegan Higgins – Concert