Story by Ammie Bryant
Ten members of the Stillwater High School band have been named to this year’s All-State band. To earn a spot, musicians must pass through two to three rounds of auditions. The first auditions are in early November, with the second and third rounds held in December. Students must learn new music for the second round of auditions with only four weeks to perfect their performance. The students selected will spend time in January working in virtual rehearsals and will record two pieces that will be compiled for each All-State ensemble and released in late January.
SHS Band’s All-State members this year are: Lenna Abouzahr 1st chair piccolo Symphonic Band, Emma Li 1st chair clarinet Orchestra, Annie Koh 6th chair clarinet Wind Symphony, Alex Zhang 9th chair clarinet Symphonic Band, Sydney Thomas 11th chair clarinet Symphonic Band, Kadyn Casteel 5th alternate clarinet, Tom Wells 1st chair baritone saxophone Wind Symphony, Sophie Villasenor 2nd alternate baritone saxophone, Neil Aker 6th chair trumpet Symphonic Band, and Connor Zamborsky 5th chair horn Wind Symphony. Emma Li, Annie Koh, and Neil Aker are also receiving awards as three-year members of All-State.
“This year has been very challenging on so many different fronts, and All-State auditions are no exception,” said Kevin Zamborsky, Stillwater’s Director of Bands. “The audition process this year was done through recordings, so each student came in individually and had one shot to play their best audition. Additionally, the window between the first recording and the second was only two weeks, so students had to begin working on their second round music before they had even finished their first audition! It was a lot of pressure for the students, and I’m incredibly proud of these students, as well as all the others who had the courage to follow through with this process.”