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Seven SCUC students earn All-State Band & Choir honors

On Saturday, January 7th, seven SCUC students sang and played their way to the top to earn Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State recognition.


Four of the TMEA All-State band honorees are from Samuel Clemens High School. Dakotah Bedell (clarinet); Aidan Federico (trumpet); Claressa Castro (flute); and Hope Calhoun (flute) qualified to perform with one of the Texas All-State bands as part of the 2023 TMEA Clinic/Convention at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio on February 9-11, 2023.  Hope first received All-State recognition in 2021, and Claressa earned that honor in 2022, so their return trip is especially rewarding.


They will be joined by French horn player Brayden Rooks of Byron P. Steele High School, the first musician from Steele to earn the All-State designation since 2016. All five band students were selected at the TMEA Area G Auditions held at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on January 7. Instrumental All-State auditions involve rounds of solo performances judged by a panel of adjudicators.


“I couldn’t be more proud to see the efforts of these students and their directors realized in this way, " said Beth Bronk, Director of Fine Arts.. “ TMEA provides opportunities for students to perform at the highest level, challenging our students to strive for pinnacles of musical achievement through programs such as All-State. These fine students absolutely demonstrated their ability to meet those challenges this past weekend.”


Meanwhile, Morgan Ahrens and Olivia Garcia, members of the Clemen HS Choir, earned their All-State honors at the TMEA Area G competition held at Southwest High School, also on January 7, 2023. Morgan, who made All-State for the second time, will sing tenor in the Mixed Choir, while Garcia will make her first foray and will sing alto in the Treble Choir. All-State vocal auditions involve solo performances, scales and sight-reading over multiple rounds of judging.


“(Claressa, Hope and Morgan) making All-State more than once is a monumental achievement,” said Bronk. “It is very inspiring for them to earn the opportunity to represent SCUC for a second time at the state level. ”


The musical tour de force went beyond individual accomplishments. This was the first time in history that SCUC has had more than two students earn an All-State designation in a single year. The last time two students from one program in SCUC reached that pinnacle was 2010, when two Clemens HS band students secured All-State honors in Class 4A. 


Participation in visual and performing arts is an integral part of an SCUC education, according to Bronk, and brings depth and enriches the lives of the participants, district  schools, and the community. “Taking part in the All-State experience will create lifetime memories for our students” Bronk said. “These outstanding young musicians will inspire future music students to strive to attain this level of merit. It is a really phenomenal time to be a part of the fine arts programs in SCUC.”


The passion and dedicated study to their craft of these seven is something SCUC is proud to celebrate. We salute Dakotah, Aidan, Claressa, Hope, Brayden, Morgan and Olivia on their inspiring accomplishments, and thank their dedicated and hard-working teachers.