SSMS students named to All-Region Orchestra
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Eighth graders Mason Y'Barbo (left) and Jemma Caudle were among the top students in the region selected to participate in concert in Tyler the evening of Nov. 19.

Nov. 2, 2005 -- Two Sulphur Springs Middle School Strings students were recently selected to the All-Region Orchestra, which will perform a free concert on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler.

Eighth graders Jemma Caudle and Mason Y'Barbo were both among the top students in the region selected to participate in the clinic earlier in the day, then the concert the evening of Nov. 19. Y'Barbo will play bass while Caudle will play violin.

The students were required to try out along with "a hundred plus players listening" as they performed three sections of two pieces as specified by a panel of judges. 

"I tried for first but made second violin," said Caudle, who admitted the experience was pretty nerve-wracking for a first-timer. "It was cold. I was nervous and my hands were shaky. We had to wait a long time."

Caudle said she was asked to play pieces from "Arabian Nights" and "Arlington Sketches," which are two of the hardest pieces on the list.

"We practiced the whole piece and they picked the part they want you to do," Caudle said.

Caudle, Y'Barbo and another student, T.J. Livsey, each practiced their music before and after school for about a month before the Oct. 15 middle school orchestra tryouts.

Although this is the first time she has tried out for the All-Region Orchestra, Caudle is no stranger to a bow and string. She has been playing violin in the Strings program since first grade.

For Y'Barbo, this marks the second year the eighth grader has been named to the All-Region Orchestra. As a seventh grader, he not only was the only student from Sulphur Springs to audition but was selected to the All-Region Orchestra.

Y'Barbo has been in the Strings program since kindergarten. He, too, played violin until recently, switching to the bass between his sixth and seventh grade years. He began by attending bass camp at the University of North Texas since there were no local bass instructors at that time. He has also played bass in the jazz band since sixth grade, and looks forward to doing so in high school as well, according to his parents. In addition to his musical accomplishments, the SSMS eighth grader also plays starting center on the eighth grade "A" football team.

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