Five perform at state band competition

Dublin’s last day of school was May 24, but for five students in the Dublin High School band, the school year wasn’t over until they made the three-hour bus trip to Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville to compete in the Texas State Solo and Ensemble contest Saturday.

The competition, an annual event bringing together students from all of Texas and all sizes of school, requires students to learn a fairly advanced piece of music and perform it for a private audience of a qualified judge. The judges often have experience as band directors, teachers or performing musicians, and they record comments and score the students based on technique, expressiveness and accuracy. 

Hailey Blackwell, a senior, received a Division 3 — a “good” on the UIL scoring system — for her solo performance of “All ‘Antica,” a trumpet piece by Alphonse Goeyens. A four-piece brass ensemble consisting of sophomore Colton Bradberry and freshman Ella Frederick on trumpet, sophomore Cason Miller on euphonium and sophomore Jakob Hines on tuba, also earned a Division 3. The ensemble played a three-movement composition called “Images,” by Eugene Vasconi. 

The students have been practicing since late last year and had to compete at Region Solo and Ensemble contest in February and earn a score of 1 — a “superior” — to advance to the State level. Of seven students that competed at the Region level, five went on to play at the State competition.

“I am extremely proud of them,” said head band Director Kevin DeLaVergne. “I have watched them grow over the past three years, and I have watched them become the musicians that they are today, and it’s pretty incredible to watch that.” 

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