Students from Fine Arts go to Texas All-State

Sydney Jackson, Staff Writer

This year, 20 students from the performing fine arts qualified for Texas All-State, one of the highest recognitions a musician can get.

Texas All-States’ goal is to promote students’ dedication to their musical knowledge and skills as well as encourage educators to support their students in this development. Each fall semester, over 70,000 high school students across Texas audition for a spot in All-State.

According to Matthew Porter, the head orchestra director, the process of All-State starts at district, then to region, where students compete with students from multiple districts. To make it from district to region, a musician has to make a certain amount of chairs. Chairs are a ranking system, best being the first chair in a section. The top 15 chairs in each section then make it to the pre-area level. The top 15 chairs in each section re-audition for a spot at All-State. Only five of the 15 chairs make it to All-State, which is the top 3 percent of high school musicians in Texas. The musicians in All-State are then divided into three to six performing groups.

“To make the All-State, you try out for region and the best players from there will audition for pre area. If you make it through those rounds, you record for All-State,” said Porter.

The practice sessions for All-State are rigorous. Christin Reinartz, the head choir director, reflects that since each All-State team had such a small window of time to practice together, sessions went on for hours at a time.

“They have all day practices, they get up at 6 a.m. or even earlier, and they don’t get out until 9 p.m at night…they only break to go eat,” said Reinartz.

From all three fine arts, band, choir, and orchestra, 20 students accomplished their goal of qualifying for All-State. Ten from orchestra, four from choir, and six from band. The All-State event went on for four days starting from Wednesday to Saturday in San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The performance took place on Saturday, with musicians performing for one hour at this prestigious event. The ten orchestra students were junior Bella Chan, junior Yujin Chung, senior Masayo ( Jojo ) Fujiwara, senior Elleen Kim, sophomore Henry Lui, senior Andrew Xia, sophomore Kenneth Yao, and senior Micheal Chung. The four choir students were junior Lucas Gao, senior Samika Sequeria, junior Josefina Arnett, and senior Ethan Olive. The six students from band were senior Rowan Wilson, senior Aiden Keiser, senior Ross Giluso, freshman Leah Wu, junior Breanna Rowan, and senior Diego Gonzalez.