Thirty from SSHS chosen for state band contest
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

SSHS band students advancing to the state contest include, left to right, (1st row) Dustin Pundt and Mike Floyd; (2nd row) Cory Sandoval, Jarred Dodd, Marshall Hoybook, William McCauley, Jason Starrett and Michael Wilson; (3rd row) Bonnie Grafton, Katie Hettich, Melissa Hayes, Kylie Littlefield, Rachel Ming, Kaci Mohon, Morgan Lutz, Leah Davis and Jasmin Horne; (4th row) Robin Grafton, Caitlyn Scudder, Jerrell Allen, Joshua Bowers, Katie Dodd, Tim Phillips, Matthew Y'Barbo, Whitney McDaniel and Colleen Lucky.
Staff Photo By Angela Pitts

Feb. 9, 2006 -- Thirty band students advanced to the State Solo and Ensemble Contest Friday, after taking top ratings in Class I competition at the qualifying meet at North Lamar High.

Overall, Sulphur Springs High School brought home 56 medals, including 17 individual first division rankings, nine first division ensembles ratings and six second division solo ratings from the meet. In fact, every student who participated in Friday's solo and ensemble contest came home with either a first or second division ranking.

"The students did an exceptional job this year," Sulphur Springs High School Director of Bands Charlie McCauley said. "It seems like every year gets a little better. We were concerned because the contest was so early this year, but they go in there and really got after it. The entire staff is really proud of the way the kids performed."

The six soloists advancing to the state meet for top Class I performances at North Lamar were senior trumpeter Jarred Dodd; freshman trombonist William McCauley; senior percussionists Marshall Hoybook and Cory Sandoval; sophomore percussionist Dusty McQueen; and freshman percussionist Shelby Blezinger.

The eight ensembles also qualifying for the state contest were a flute trio, a clarinet trio, two saxophone quartets, a baritone trio, a trombone quartet, a brass quintet and a percussion ensemble.

The flute trio consisted of Leah Davis, Katie Hettich and Kylie Littlefield, while the clarinet trio consisted of Jasmine Horne, Rachel Ming and Kaci Mohon.

Katie Dodd, Bonnie Grafton, Colleen Lucky and Caitlyn Scudder made up one first division saxophone quartet, while the  other consisted of saxophonists Mike Floyd, Robin Grafton, Jacob Karstens and Caitlyn Scudder.

William McCauley, Whitney McDaniel and Whitney Smith made up the baritone trio, while the trombone quartet consisted of Whitney McDaniel, Dustin Pundt, Michael Wilson and Matthew Y'Barbo. The brass quintet included Josh Bowers, Jarred Dodd, Melissa Hayes, Tim Phillips and Matthew Y'Barbo.

Percussionists Jerrell Allen, Shelby Blezinger, Marshall Hoybook, Morgan Lutz, Dusty McQueen, Cory Sandoval and Jason Starrett rounded out the list of ensembles advancing to the state contest after earning first division rankings for their Class I performances.

The 11 students who also earned first division ratings but did not qualify for the state meet included freshmen clarinet player Kaci Mohon, senior alto saxophonist Mike Floyd, junior alto saxophonist Robin Grafton, freshman alto saxophonist Jacob Mazoch, junior trumpet player John Phillips, junior French horn player Melissa Hayes, freshmen trombonists Eddie Arciga and Cooper Welch, junior tuba player Daniel Johnson, and freshmen percussionists Will Long and Morgan Lutz.

The percussion ensemble consisting of Jonathan Ansley, Justin Brown, Sarah Fox, Will Long, Jordan Owens and Stephen Kramer also received a first division ranking but did not qualify for state. 

"The 17 students who earned first divisions on their solos did an outstanding job. We are really proud of all of them," McCauley said. "Every student who participated earned either a first division or second division rating. That shows they put in a lot of time and effort into preparing for their performance."

The six students who earned second division ratings for their solo performances at the North Lamar meet included flute player Danyelle Carter, alto saxophonist Heath Robinson, junior trumpeter Chris Moon, trombonist Brandon Fain, and percussionists Jonathan  Ansley and Jordan Owens.

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