Jarred Dodd, Brandon Woolley continue setting new standards at SSHS
Both seniors selected to perform at All-State meet
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Jan. 10, 2006 - Two students from Sulphur Springs High School earned the right Saturday to perform in the upcoming All-State choir and band in San Antonio in the spring. Brandon Woolley will be among 450 students in the state singing in the Texas  State All-State Men’s Choir, while Jarred Dodd be one of about 40 trumpet players in the All-State Band.

�This is the highest achievement you can make as a high school musician,� Charles McCauley said Monday afternoon. �We have two this year, one in choir and one in band. In the past eight years, we haven�t had one in each.�

Woolley is a member of the SSHS A Capella Choir, and the first choir student from Sulphur Springs High School to sing Bass I at All-State conference since Randy Maddox sang in 1978. 

He earned the right to perform in the All- State Men’s Choir following his performance at the Area C All State Tryouts in Mesquite. He advanced from the Pre-Area tryouts in October earning third chair, then took first chair at area tryouts in November. Saturday, Woolley was awarded fifth chair after he performed three prepared selections and sight read and sang two lines at the Area C All-State Choir tryouts . 

�This is my first time to participate in the All State Men�s Choir and I�m ecstatic,� Woolley said Tuesday morning. �I�m really looking forward to it.�

To help prepare vocally for competition, Woolley has practiced in choral music director Jerry Bradley’s class, received private vocal assistance from Sandra Klein and attended a clinic at North Lake College.

He was also among the 12 SSHS students to qualify last year for the state solo and ensemble contest by earning first division ratings performing a Class I solo at Region IV UIL Solo and Ensemble tryouts in both choir and band contests, a virtually unheard of feat, SSHS Band Director Charles McCauley noted at the time.

�The Texas State Solo and Ensemble contest attracts the most talented students musically in the state of Texas. To receive a division one rating in more than one contest is truly extraordinary, exceptional. It is extraordinary that this young musician accomplished so much at such a high level of competition,� State Director of UIL Music Richard Floyd said of Woolley�s accomplishment last spring.

Woolley currently serves as music minister at First Presbyterian Church, and is preparing for One Act Play competition. He is also slated to interview with Florida State University later this month for a music scholarship. If he is not selected for FSU, Woolley noted he has also applied to Baylor University.

Dodd took first in the Area C All-State Band tryouts in Tyler Saturday. The high school senior qualified to compete in the area tryouts by earning second chair trumpet in the first band, also known as the wind ensemble at the regional contest.

�He played well and it paid off,� McCauley said. �It�s great to see that.�

This makes the second consecutive year Dodd earned a chair in the All-State Band. Last year, he made school history as the first trumpet player since 1987 to make the All-State Band. He will go for another record only student to make the All-State Band in two of his four years at SSHS since Edward Looney took the honor in 1985 and 1987.

Dodd began playing trumpet at Sulphur Springs Middle School in sixth grade with instructor Kelley Fletcher, and has continued to improve his skills, earning a variety of honors over the years. 

�All State is a really humbling experience,� Dodd noted of his past experience at the state conference where he not only played in the band, but also got to meet high caliber musicians from across the state, including from universities and performers. �They are all really talented, really into playing. It�s just a real humbling experience. There�s a lot of rehearsals, a lot of private rehearsing for the final concert. It�s really challenging music, and a really cool experience.�

He also noted that the exhibit hall where thousands of booths are set up displaying merchandise to be tried out and information from university recruiting stations is a fun experience which he said is like physically being in the Internet. 

He said that in order to prepare for the Area C All State Band Tryouts, he has worked with school band instructors as well as had private instruction from Texas A&M University Commerce jazz professor Conrad Bauschka.

Dodd currently plays in the First Baptist Church orchestra has been accepted to Baylor University, where he is currently waiting to find out if he will be one of 16 selected for scholarships.

�The great thing about these two is they are both really good guys,� McCauley said. �This is due largely because they have great support from home. They have great parents. It is a joy having them in the program. We are really proud of them.�

Woolley is the son of Kevin Woolley and Randy and Annette West. Dodd is the son of Rick and Becky Dodd.

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