Several Burnet High School band members scored state honors for their musicianship as well as their academics. The Texas Music Educators Association recognized the students as Texas Music Scholars. The students are Courtney Simpson (left), Jessy Ware, Alexandra Hahn, Autumn McClinton, Jax Noah, Megan Farrell, MegAnn Nail and Mariela Torres (not pictured). Courtesy photo
DANIEL CLIFTON • EDITOR
BURNET — Musicianship goes a long way for members of the Burnet High school band, but it’s that extra effort outside the band hall that can propel a student to scholar level.
On May 12, eight Burnet band members learned the Texas Music Educators Association had named them Texas Music Scholars. The TMEA only named 2,300 students out of more than 100,000 high school band members in the state.
“To have eight from our school, that’s great,” band director Jason Jones said. “I’ve had kids named Texas Music Scholars before, but I don’t think I’ve ever had this many at one time. Last year, we had one.”
The TMEA honored sophomore Megan Farrell (percussion), senior Autumn McClinton (flute), junior Jaxon Noah (baritone saxophone), junior Mariela Torres (french horn), senior Alexander Hahn (oboe), junior MegAnn Nail (cornet/trumpet), junior Courtney Simpson (cornet/trumpet) and junior Jessy Ware (flute).
“It’s similar to an academic all-state or athletic all-state (honor),” Jones said.
The TMEA officials look at a number of criteria before bestowing the Texas Music Scholar honor on a student. Those include attending two concerts as an audience member during the year; having been a member of the region band; and maintaining academic eligibility during the scholastic year.
“They also must have performed a Class 1 solo — either in competition or during a performance,” Jones said. “This is the most challenging piece of music.”
But, Jones pointed out, the TMEA also has a very tough academic standard.
“The other part is the academics,” he said. “They must have an overall A average for the whole year. This really recognizes the kids who not only come into band and work hard, but work hard in their academics and in other areas as well.
“It’s very much an individual effort,” Jones said. “Kids don’t really set a goal of becoming (a Texas Music Scholar); it’s just a benefit of all the work they put in during the year.”
Even as the school year winds down, the band doesn’t get much rest. With the music already selected for next year’s halftime show and marching band competition, students are looking it over and even putting it to instrument. Several students will attend band leadership camp this summer before the band reconvenes in late July and early August.
Jones anticipates about 130 band members this year. And with the 2016 marching season being a state competition year for the Bulldog band (the University Interscholastic League alternates years that different school classifications can compete in the state marching competition), Jones and the band are looking for big things in the fall of 2016.