Band Members Head to All-State for 2022-2023 School Year

Marisa Naraine , Staff Reporter

Every year only a small number of students across Texas make All-State band and get a chance to perform at San Antonio; getting a spot in All-State band is one of the highest achievements for a student musician. Even though spots are limited, each year Lebanon Trail sends multiple students to San Antonio; this year there were five who made All-State band (Jacob Roco, Karan Sharma, Gwen Milette, Sofia Chaho, and Swayamshu Mohanty) with one making All-State jazz (Gene Anareta). 


All-State concerts take place in early February at the TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) festival. Yet before any student can consider All-State they must go through All-Region auditions and concerts, after that Area auditions and concerts, then finally a student can try for All-State. 


“I’ve been wanting to go to TMEA since my freshman year, and now I actually get to go, which is super exciting,” said senior trumpet player Gwen Milette.


“Last year I barely made the All Region band, I was dead last chair, after that it just got in my head,” said senior euphonium player Karan Sharma. “[This year] I had more motivation to try to prove to myself I was a good player.” 


Students spend hours upon hours preparing themselves all semester long. Then eventually all the practicing comes down to their audition. It’s not hard to blow it during an audition so there’s a lot of pressure and anxiety on audition days. That is why even though it takes a huge amount of motivation and dedication to practice consistently, for many the hardest part of the whole process is the audition. 


“It’s different for every instrument but for percussion there can a lot of times be a lot of people in one room and you have to go one by one,” said senior percussion player Jacob Roco. “Just the mental game of not trying to psych yourself out and not getting too nervous is the hardest challenge of the whole thing.” 


The audition day itself is long, let alone the whole process, and to get through the audition period coping strategies are needed to stop from choking up or not playing to the fullest potential.


“I have bad audition anxiety, I like to do breathing exercises, and just focus on myself and not try to listen to the other people around me,” Milette said. 


While for some the time spent waiting brings the most anxiety, for others when it comes their turn to show off all their hard work is when the anxiety comes into play.


“When it comes my turn I just try to trust what I’ve practiced and try to just do my best, let the practice speak for itself,” Roco said. 


Finally, now that all the stress has calmed down that feeling has been replaced with excitement. Those who made All-State look forward to getting to play their instrument with all different people across the state of Texas.