Young musicians get 'superior' recognition
Students hit high note with all regional music honors
Music teacher Scott Grimes has a lot to be proud of when it comes to his music students. The young musicians, composed of students from both the Williams-Elementary Middle School and Williams High School, performed admirably during this year's All Regional High School Band Competition held Feb. 15-17.
WHS students Ariana Tobin, Ellie Krombeen and Nathina Cardenas took All Regional High School honors, while WEMS students Michael Blanchard, Tasha Bowden, Jennifer Ellis, Jonathan Hernandez, Colter Hooker, Joey Hudson, Trenton Lilly, Wes Perkins, Kayli Sharpell, Joshua "Keys" Stidhum, Wes Watson and Maggie White won All-Regional Band honors.
"Each one of these students learned a solo, went in and played before a professional musician who judged them on their rhythm, their tone, their style, the intonation of the music and then they were rated ‹ either superior, excellent, good, fair or poor," said Grimes. "We had a number of goods, we had a number of excellents and we had 13 superiors, which is really phenomenal for our school, since none of these students take private lessons."
Superiors were Jordan Berry, Michael Blanchard, Robert Bliss, Tasha Bowden, Alex Henley, Jonathan Hernandez, Colter Hooker, Joey Hudson, Trenton Lilly, Wes Perkins, Corrine Rock, Kayli Sharpell and Wes Watson. Grimes said the students had a tremendous showing during the competition.
"With regards to the band members, we had 12 individuals make the band. There are schools that come from all over northern Arizona to apply for this," said Grimes. "Some schools had zero students make it. Northern Prep had 13. Every single one of those students takes private lessons. We had 12. We tied with Mount Elden Middle School and we beat every other school. We beat every school that tried out for that."
Grimes said there were close to 700 students who tried out for the all-state band.
"We had four of the first chairs. Mike Blanchard was first chair trumpet, Jennifer Ellis was first chair tenor sax, Jonathan Hernandez was first chair tuba and Colter Hooker was first chair baritone."
"They have to play three different etudes," Grimes said, "which is like a 12 measure piece that they have to play and they judge them, again, on their dynamics, they judge them on how they do their rhythm, they judge them on their tone and then they had to have memorized six scales, plus the chromatic scale and they tested them on three of the six scales."
Students, said Grimes, do not know which of the three scales they will be tested on, so they have to learn all six prior to the competition.
"Our kids did phenomenal when you consider the fact of how many schools participated, when you consider the fact that none of our students are taking (private) lessons," said Grimes.
"We had three kids make the all-regional band for the high school which is a lot harder to make. For our region they dip all the way into Phoenix to try out for this and we had three students make it this year. We had seven last year, I had two kids with the flu that probably could have made it and couldn't try out. When they make the all-regional band they have the opportunity to try out with the all-state band, which is the best of the best in the state of Arizona. Ariana (Tobin) was first chair, contra bass and first chair bass clarinet."
The all-regional band members will travel to Lake Havasu for a Saturday night concert to be held May 4.