Several area high schools are sending band students to the Association of Texas Small School Bands 2019 All-State Band all-state concert in San Antonio Feb. 13-16.

Bands students from Anna, Celina, Howe, Melissa, Van Alstyne, Whitesboro and Whitewright will be sending students to the concert.

Each student had to compete at region concert before moving on to the area tryouts.

Howe High School has two students who made the cut, both seniors. The first is Jordan Griffin who will be going back for his second year with his alto saxophone.

Kelsey Pierce will be competing at state for her first time with her clarinet. She was an area qualifier in the previous two school years.

Howe High School Band Director Angie Liss said she was proud of her two students.

“The experiences they have playing with the top band students in the state are memories they can carry with them the rest of their lives,” Liss said. “Texas is widely regarded across the nation as a leader in music education, to take the best of the best and put them in one place making music is truly indescribable. Plus, San Antonio is always lots of fun.”

Van Alstyne Band Director Tim Fulton has two students going to all-state competition with junior Zack Cavender and sophomore Izzy Chartier.

“It’s a great honor to have your school represented at the all-state level,” Fulton said.

Ellie Wolfe is a ninth grader from Anna who will be playing in the All-State Symphonic Band with her clarinet.

Director of Bands at Anna High School Justin Wallis talked about how great it was for her to qualify as a freshman.

“It means a lot for us as a program, but more so for Ellie as a musician,” Wallis said. “Ellie is competing against a lot of students that are taking private lessons. She had a few lessons with the directors on staff, but the credit really goes to Ellie’s hard work and determination.”

Wallis said qualifying at all is an honor, but qualifying as a freshman is rare.

“We can’t wait for the convention where Ellie will get the awesome experience of participating in the concert with some of the best high school musicians across the state of Texas.”

Melissa High School Band Director Jerry Whorton said he had one student in the concert who took a top spot.

Jasper Murphy is a senior clarinet player in the Melissa Wind Ensemble. He is a section-leader and band captain at Melissa. He is planning on attending the University of Texas Austin in the fall where he will major in music. He will be going to the ATSBB 4A Symphonic All-Stand Band.

Whitewright Band Director Richard Knabe had one student make the cut as junior Jace Andrew will be playing his bass clarinet. In addition to his current honor, he was previously named to Region 25 All-Region band every year since seventh grade.

“It is an incredible honor to have a student participate in the prestigious Texas All-State band,” Knabe said. “For a school our size it is a tremendous honor to have a student that is one of the best in the state.”

Whitesboro High School Band Director Charles Gardner said it was a very difficult task to make the cut.

“It’s pretty exciting, I am very proud of her,” Gardner said. “I wanted her to make it as much as she wanted to get there. It’s encouraging as a small way to show things are going well.”

Gardner said for a band student making it to state is winning. The state concert isn’t a competition, but an honor, he said.

Sophomore Angela Stalcup from Celina High School will be going to the all-state band for her first time.

Celina High School Director of Bands Benjamin Aune was impressed to see one of his students make it to the end.

“I am very proud of any student that takes the initiative to audition in the All-State process,” Aune said. “I am particularly thrilled to have one of our own represent our community in such a positive manner.”

Texas Music Educators Association sponsors the Texas All-State competition. The competitive process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by the 33 TMEA Regions. Individual musicians then perform music for a panel of judges who rank each player.