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Home News-Telegram News Big Band Sound: SSHS sending 27 students to Austin for state music contest

Big Band Sound: SSHS sending 27 students to Austin for state music contest

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Sulphur Springs High School will be well represented at the University Interscholastic League Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest in Austin in May.
Overall, 27 students advanced to state — four trios, a quintet, a  quartet and seven soloists — by scoring first division ratings at the the UIL Region IV Solo and Ensemble Contest held at North Lamar earlier this month. Six soloists and a trio also received first division rankings, albeit not on Class I performances, and thus didn’t qualify to compete at the state meet.
To advance, solos must be performed from memory and the solo must come off of the Class I list, the most difficult selections to choose from. The ensembles must select music from the Class I list, but it does not have to memorized, explained Charles McCauley, director of bands for SSISD.
“The kids worked really hard and put in a lot of extra time and effort in order to achieve these results,” McCauley said. “We got off to a late start due to the long football season, but the kids really hustled to make up the time. We’re very proud of them.”
Among the seven soloists advancing to the state meet will be one clarinet, three percussionists and three pianists. Two are seniors, four are sophomores and one is a junior. State-bound soloists include senior Kaci Mohon, clarinet; senior Jordan Owens, percussion; sophomore Nathan Grafton, piano; junior Whitney Starrett, piano; sophomore Alissa Welch, piano; sophomore Caleb Frazier, percussion; and sophomore Kasey Blezinger, percussion.
Also advancing to the May 30 state contest are two clarinet trios: the group consisting of Deonne Hopper, Regan Gilmore and Sara Walker as well as the group made up of Kaci Mohon, Courtney Cook and Sarah Sapaugh. Two saxophone ensembles — the quartet consisting of  Blaine Surber, Leah Hayes, Katie Hu and Marissa Walters, and the trio consisting of Jacob Mazoch, Heath Robinson and Ashleigh Wallace — also advanced with first division ratings for their Class I solos. The trombone trio of Chance Adams, Eddie Arciga and Cooper Welch and the brass quintet composed of Andrew Wallace, Amy Webb, Taylor Moore, Eddie Arciga and Nataneal Gonzalez also earned superior ratings and the chance to compete at the University of Texas in Austin.
Six others were recognized for their first division ratings but did not qualify for state. Those soloists included one flutist, junior Kayla Garcia; one bass clarinetist, freshman Josh Keistler; one percussionist, senior Shelby Blezinger; one trombonist, sophomore Tyler Aaron; and two trumpeters, junior Andrew Wallace and sophomore Sabrina Barker.
The clarinet trio of Alissa Figueroa, Meagan Livsey and Haley Robinson also were recognized for their first division performance.
— Information provided by SSISD Director  of Bands Charles McCauley and compiled by band assistant Cindy Welch




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