Copperas Cove Junior High qualifies twice as many students for Region 8, West Zone Band than any other participating school districts
Special to the Leader-Press
Thirteen schools, 407 junior high band members, and only 189 All-Region junior high band members are chosen. Forty-eight of those selections, more than 25 percent, were captured by Copperas Cove Junior High band members with three more students selected as alternates, ready to step in if a region band member is unable to participate in this Friday’s concert and clinic.
The Copperas Cove Junior High Band teachers Ryan Stewart, Kenneth Marina, and Kathryn Kelley shared that playing an instrument at the level to be selected for All-Region Band requires dedication by both students and staff.
“The three of us are committed to presenting quality musical instruction that is both engaging and exciting every single day,” Kelley said.
The students received their Texas Music Educators Association Region 8, West Zone audition music on August 8 and have been practicing it, along with their scales and other exercises, since the start of school.
“All seventh and eighth grade band students are required to go to weekly sectionals to get specialized instruction on their instruments in a small group setting,” Kelley said. “These sectionals are a half hour long and run both before and after school. We attribute a lot of our success this year to these sectionals.”
Eighth grade tuba player Jason Galvez competed for the second year for a region band chair and understood the expectation and the pressure that competition can bring.
“The audition room was a bit scary, but I was able to focus on my goal of making first chair for the second year in a row,” Galvez said.
Kelly said that due to the pandemic, some students who are now eighth graders began learning their instruments through Zoom when in sixth grade.
“Somehow, we managed to retain a lot of these students over the years, perhaps because they bonded over having to learn instruments while spaced six feet apart,” Kelley said. “Our current seventh grade class started last year with much higher numbers.”
Seventh grade French horn player Bryson Worrell has already set his goal for next year, now having experienced the audition process.
“You could just feel the tension in the audition room. I was very nervous, so I felt like I didn’t play to my full potential,” Worrell said. “Even though I’m happy with making Symphonic Band, I feel like I can do better. My goal for next year is to make Wind Ensemble.”
Students who made one of the three region bands have already received their concert music and are expected to practice it in preparation for the event. They will spend this Thursday evening and Friday morning rehearsing with guest conductors to prepare a concert for Friday afternoon at Lea Ledger Auditorium. All three bands will perform. The event is free and open to the public.