Spartans travel to Gibson County for All-West auditions

(From bottom left clockwise) Aylla Wexler (9), Hayley Matthews (10), Masie Robinson (9), James Yue (9), Milagros Perez (10) and Ellie Carr (9) pose in the warm-up area on Jan. 14 and later became six of White Station’s many students to place at the competition. The host school for the auditions, South Gibson County High School, allowed for the gym to be a space for students to warm-up before their auditions.

After an hour and half of travel, the car arrives at South Gibson County High School in Medina, Tenn. On Jan. 14, members of White Station’s band program auditioned for All-West. The bands that students can audition for are the 9-10 and 11-12 concert bands as well as the jazz band with White Station students auditioning for all. From White Station, 37 students earned spots at All-West, 10 earned alternate spots, five made All-State and six Jazz players are All-State eligible.  

Ellie Carr (9), who plays trumpet, auditioned for the second time and earned first chair of the top band, taking her all the way to All-State. For all of the auditions, students must play their excerpts, scales and sight read a short excerpt. The jazz auditions add in other components such as improvisation. 

“I wasn’t too nervous until I got into the room, and then I was really nervous, but I thought I did pretty good,” Carr said. “I did my scales pretty well, I did my pieces pretty well, and of course my sight reading wasn’t all that great, but other than that, I thought I did pretty well in the audition.”

For Luke Brooks (10), this was his first All-West audition. He earned first chair of the top band, and will be going to All-State on the contrabass clarinet. Although nerves kicked in towards the end of his drive to the audition, Brooks was able to remain calm through the audition and secure first chair. 

“It’s difficult, some people don’t actually know what All-West is, so when I tell them I made like All-State and what not, they’re like, ‘Congratulations?’” Brooks said. “But, it’s really difficult to get into All-West, cause there’s just so many talented people from across the state and just this side of Tennessee, there’s a lot of talented people … as difficult as you’re thinking multiply it by five and then boom, there’s All-West.”