Band students from both West McDowell Junior High and McDowell High School have earned top sports in two state bands.
Steven Kinsey from West recently earned a a gig with the All-State Jazz Band. Earlier in the year, the teen won a spot in the All-District Band and Western Region Jazz band.
While at Western Region Jazz Band, Kinsey tried out for a spot in the All-State Jazz Band.
“All students from each regional band tried out for state band,” said West Band teacher Jenny Lanier. “We went and he placed in fifth chair among everybody. On April 13, he will go to the school of Science and Math and play with everyone else who made All-State Band.”
The eighth-grader is excited about the trip and is currently preparing for his performance.
“I’ve always liked jazz music because it’s different,” Kinsey said. “As soon as I get the music they’re sending I’m going to start practicing and working hard to get everything in place.”
Like Kinsey, 10th-grader Colter Ellis is gearing up for a high honor band event. In May, the French horn player will take part in All-State Band.
To earn a spot in the prestigious ensemble, Ellis had to first try out for the position.
“The top three from each regional band in the state goes to try out for state band,” Ellis said. “This is the first time I’ve ever made state band and it’s exciting.”
All-State Band practices and performances will be held a tChapel Hill during the weekend of May 4. Until then, Ellis will be working hard to prepare for the once-in-a lifetime experience.
“Right now, I’m just practicing like normal because we don’t get the music until we get toChapel Hill,” said Ellis. “I’m excited to work with another clinician who will have a different perspective and advice on my performance.”
This is the first time that both students have reached this high level of achievement. Both hope that this experience will help them with their music and performance skills.