SSHS sends record 36 to state solo and ensemble contest
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Feb. 13, 2004 -- Sulphur Springs High School's band program is well known throughout the area for its excellence, but Friday they exceeded even their most recent feats with a whopping 36 members of the band advancing to the state solo and ensemble contest.

Among those advancing to the state contest after scoring first division ratings in Class One were eight soloists and eight ensembles playing music from memory. Two other ensembles also scored first division ratings in class 2 competition, which they were not required to memorize.

Drew Blezinger, Marshall Hoybook and David Kaesheimer were among the students earning top rankings in Class One category at the University Interscholastic League Region IV Solo and Ensemble Contest held Friday at North Lamar High School for their solo performances on snare drum. Chelsea Cobb and Rebecca Triplett both earned first divisions for their marimba solos, as did Jarred Dodd for his trumpet solo and Alan Hudson for baritone.

Among the eight ensembles advancing to the state contest were a French horn quartet, a clarinet trio, a trumpet quartet, a brass quintet, two saxophone quartets, a trumpet trio and a percussion ensemble.

The state-bound percussion ensemble consisted of Jerrell Allen, Drew Blezinger, Chelsea Cobb, Cassie Gaddis, Adam Hall, Marshall Hoybook, Jason Starrett and Rebecca Triplett. Jarred Dodd, Chris Good, Alan Hudson, Ian Wells and Chris Moon made up the brass quintet while the French horn quartet included Melissa Hayes, Phillip Litzler, Andrew Watley and Ian Wells. Emily Long, Kasie Moon and Jessica Hooker composed the clarinet trio and the trumpet quartet included Libby Hanushek, David Johnson, Janet Reed and Brandon Woolley. One saxophone quartet included Phillip Bickford, Tony Billingsley, Mike Floyd and Brant Small, and the other included Lacey Boggs, Jacob Karstens, Caitlyn Scudder and Andrew Sperry. The other ensemble advancing to the state contest is the trumpet trio of Josh Bowers, John Phillips and Ty Tiegiser.

"Some kids advanced on their solo and some on ensemble," SSHS Director of Bands Charles McCauley said Monday. "We have 36 different kids advancing, and of those all except one advancing in solo are also in an advancing ensemble. We took 11 ensembles and only one made a two. Eight advanced and the other two made ones in Class 2. I think this is a historic record, at least for the last six years if not more, that we've had 36 students advance to state. We've had good numbers, 22 to 24, but 36 is the most we've had that I know of."

Students also receiving first division ratings but who will not advance to the state contest in solo competition are Mike Floyd, alto saxophone; Josh Bowers, trumpet; Emily Long, clarinet; and Laura Jordan, flute.

Students receiving first division ratings in Class 2 solo contests were Brandon Sandlin, timpani; Melissa Hayes, French horn; Robin Grafton, piano; and David Hollars, multiple percussion.

Other ensembles ranking first for their performances but not advancing to state included the percussion ensemble of David Hollars, Mallory Hoybook, Whitney Thompson, David Kaesheimer, Brandon Sandlin and Megan Lescallet and the clarinet trio of Jasmin Horne, Rachel Ming and Laura Johnson.

The state solo and ensemble contest will be held May 31 at the University of Texas at Austin.

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