Three students qualify for All-State Band


Pictured left to right: sophomore Autumn Bell, senior Jack Griset, and senior Brianne Finnell.

Abbie Chaloupka, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Texas Music Educators’ Association (TMEA) All-State band is a band selected from the top players in the state to perform at the annual TMEA Clinic. This year Melissa High School has three students that earned spots in the All-State band. Sophomore Autumn Bell (flute), senior Brianne Finnell (clarinet), and senior Jack Griset (percussion) will be performing with the group.
Fourteen students qualified for area during the concert season and three have advanced to state.

“The top chairs that placed at region advance on to area,” Bell said. “The top chairs who auditioned at area are then selected for the All-State band. This is open to all high schoolers.”

The audition process is tedious and can be difficult to get through to the top honor.

“At the beginning of each fall, over 70,000 high school students across the state audition in their TMEA Region,” Finnell said. “Individuals perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. Only a select group of musicians advances to compete against musicians from other regions in their TMEA area. The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA area competitions qualify for All-State.”

Many players had the goal of making it into the All-State band.

“I was absolutely shocked,” Bell said. “I was actually in the middle of softball practice Monday afternoon and got the text from my director saying that I advanced on to state. It was a really big goal of mine I had this year.”

Drum major Finnell said she was overjoyed, as well.

“When I got the news, I was actually at work,” Finnell said. “I was surprised to get a call from Mr. Whorton and was not expecting it. All-State has been a huge goal of mine for so long so it’s really exciting and special for me that I was able to accomplish it my senior year.”

This year, due to the pandemic, the TMEA clinic will actually be held at Melissa High School. The date has not yet been confirmed.