Three band students qualify for All-State Band

Two seniors and freshman receive highest honors

The+interior+of+the+Lila+Cockrell+Theatre.+This+is+where+all+state+will+be+held+on+February+13th+staring+at+3%3A30PM.

Joey Tkach

The interior of the Lila Cockrell Theatre. This is where all state will be held on February 13th staring at 3:30PM.

by Garrett Gage, Staff Writer

80,000. This is the number of students who try out for the region band and of that number, only 1% become “All-State,” essentially the best in the state of Texas. Three students of that 1% belong to the Leander Band, one of them being freshman Eralp Orkun, who is the only freshman bassoonist in Texas this year to make to state.

“It feels great,” Orkun said. “I didn’t expect it to happen, and I’ll find out what it’s like when I go to the convention on February 10th.”

He has some things he is definitely looking forward to next month.

“[I’m looking forward to] the experience of playing with the best musicians in the state,” Orkun said. “And meeting world famous conductors.”

Senior Sam Bray made 5A Area last year and this is his first year trying out for 6A and making All-State.

“Making All-State is quite literally a dream come true,” Bray said. “It’s been my as well as many other’s goal to make state, it’s an incredible accomplishment and something to be proud of.”

Much like Eralp Orkun, this is Bray’s first time receiving the honor.

“There are four ensembles, two of which are concert bands that play very difficult music no high schooler can play,” Bray said. “The other two ensembles are orchestras that play more classical music which are also very difficult and beautiful at the same time.”

For senior Joey Tkach, this isn’t his first rodeo, in fact this is his second time making it to all-state, but for different reasons.

“I have made all state before in the 6A Jazz division and got the opportunity to perform in the top All-State Jazz Ensemble last year,” Tkach said. “This is my second time making All-State, but only my first time in the classical route. I am very excited for this wonderful opportunity to make amazing music with amazing musicians at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention this February.”

He worked a long time to receive this position, practicing and preparing for several weeks.

“Making All-State is like studying A LOT for a super hard test and end up getting an A+ on it,” Tkach said. “It’s an accolade that shows that all of your hard work has finally paid off and has earned you a spot in an ensemble with the best musicians in the state of Texas.”

It’s an accolade that shows that all of your hard work has finally paid off and has earned you a spot in an ensemble with the best musicians in the state of Texas.”

— Joey Tkach

The three will be performing in San Antonio at the Lila Cockrell Theatre on Saturday, February 13th. They still need to audition to be placed in the four bands, but the first band begins at 3:30 p.m. and the last band performs at 8:00 p.m.