All-star orchestra students advance to All-State


Sarah Boutouis

Playing her harp, former senior Urja Joshi advanced to Area after auditioning for the Region 24 All-Region Orchestra. As the competition this year has come to a close, the hard work and dedication students have undergone has payed off according to Orchestra Director Julia Blackstock.

Rachel Kim, Staff Reporter

Since the start of the school year, orchestra students have undergone a long and rigorous process to become members of the elite TMEA Texas All-State ensemble. However, only four have advanced and traveled to San Antonio on Wednesday to perform alongside top-ranked musicians. 

“A student [making] All-State Orchestra is a very long and arduous process,” orchestra director Julie Blackstock said. “Students then audition for All-Region Orchestra on different music, and if they rank high enough in the Region Orchestra. The audition sees them recording the etudes and excerpts to submit for consideration to All-State Orchestra, [which consists of] only 144 violinists, 44 violists and cellists, and 34 bassists.”  

For junior Joseph Jung, competing against other musicians in the region not only caused him to feel pressure, but also motivation. 

“I didn’t know how well I was playing in comparison to others, especially since there are so many amazing players in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” Jung said. “I think that motivated me to practice more [even] with the limited time I had [as] I cared about schoolwork too.”

Despite the stress and concerns, the excitement of being selected to perform in the All-State ensemble has intensified.  

“I am really excited to be a part of All-State because last year it was virtual, so being able to be back in-person will be really nice,” junior Jayna Yoon said. “I think COVID might make things a little bit challenging in terms of the trip itself, but overall I’m really looking forward to it.”

By participating in All-State, Blackstock hopes the selected students will realize their hard work and determination and be moved throughout the whole experience. 

“I’m happy for the four students going to TMEA because it is such a tremendous musical experience to share with other students their age,” Blackstock said. “I hope they realize what a special opportunity it is. It will mean so much more this year as we will be able to make music in-person again. I guarantee that the students and audience members will be filled with emotion. Students also have the chance to realize the culmination of their hard work. That working diligently towards a goal can result in tremendous success.”