Last Saturday the top student musicians across Texas gathered to participate in the final round of competition for the Texas All-State Band. In Lubbock, over 250 students were invited, representing over 100 competing schools, from Abilene to Amarillo to El Paso. Three students from Sweetwater High School competed. Sophomore French hornist Stephen Le finished in seventh place out of 20 auditioning, just missing all-state by three chairs. Sophomore alto saxophonists Chase Scott placed third out of 15, just missing all-state by one spot. Finally, sophomore clarinetist Crysten Ivy finished eighth out of 35 competing clarinetists, and she was named to the Texas All-State Band.
Ivy is the first all-state instrumentalist from Sweetwater in six years, and the first Sweetwater All-State clarinetist in many, many years. “It is exciting that all three of these students have two more years of high school,” said Ross Grant, Sweetwater Band Director. “They, along with several other talented young student musicians in the Sweetwater Band, will have more opportunities to gain this top recognition.”
Because bands in Texas have a legacy of being the best in the country, and because there are so many bands in the Lone Star State, the Texas All-State Band has a tradition of being “the best of the best” – the top all-state honor in the nation.
Ivy will travel to San Antonio on Feb. 8, where she will rehearse and perform as a part of the Texas Music Educators Annual Convention. Her parents are Chris and Sonya Ivy. Her private instructor is Ms. Maggie Missel, professor of music at McMurray University in Abilene.
Out of the 17 bands that competed at UIL Marching Contest this fall, Sweetwater and Wylie are the only two to be represented at the state level for 2011-12. The Sweetwater Band is preparing for their Spring trip to Dallas, where they will perform in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Tax-deductible donations are welcome. More information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org .