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Seven NCSS students make it to All State Band

COVINGTON – Middle and high school student musicians from the Newton County School System have been selected to take part in the 2014 State of Georgia All State Bands.

From Cousins Middle, 4th chair French horn player Bailey Peeples and 5th chair trumpet player Chandler Parkman will be participating in the ensemble. Indian Creek Middle’s 3rd chair French horn player Wesley Rains will be attending, along with 1st chair bass clarinet Kenny Harris and 6th chair trumpet Reid Waters of Eastside High. Sixth chair clarinet John Harden and 3rd chair alto saxophone Hezekiah Rodgers, both from Newton High, will be joining them as well.

Cousins Middle Band Director Christine Kraemer said that students were chosen through a two-step audition process, beginning with thousands of students from every Georgia school district.

Alan Fowler, band director at Eastside, said that the first round of auditions began in December when students performed prescribed scales, a prepared etude and sight reading.

“That first audition determines two things: 1) Which students qualified to audition for All-State, and 2) the chair placements for the District 4 Honor Bands,” said Fowler.

After the audition process, students met at Stephenson High School in Lithonia for two days of rehearsals in February. Students who were fortunate enough to pass the second round of auditions went to Perry and Warner Robins, where they auditioned for which positions they would be filling in the All State band performance at the Classic Center in Athens.

Kraemer went on to add that being selected for All State is the highest recognition possible for individual student musicians and can result in college scholarship offers upon graduation.

“Students earning a place in this ensemble are also among the most accomplished instrumentalists in our district,” she said.