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February 25, 2011

Blinn earns record 41 seats in All-State band

Blinn continues to claim more seats than any other community college in the state

The Blinn College band program had 41 students earn seats in the Texas Community College Band Directors Association (TCCBDA) All-State Band. This is a record for the Blinn program in the 38 years of this all-state group’s existence. Blinn continually earns more seats in this organization than any other two-year college in the state.

Blinn Director of Bands Harry Blake said this year’s student talent was remarkable in size and musical ability.

“We are very proud of all 41 students who were selected for this prestigious group,” Blake said. “They have all worked extremely hard in preparing for the auditions and were wonderful ambassadors for Blinn College.”

“Special thanks goes to our music department staff who helped with the preparation of audition CD’s that were judged by the audition panels,” Blake said.

Community College students competed statewide through recorded auditions. Once chosen, the group performed a concert in San Antonio in February at the Texas Music Educators Association annual convention. Dr. Eric Wilson from Baylor University was the guest conductor for the All-State Symphonic Band and Curt Wilson from Texas Christian University conducted the All-State Jazz Ensemble.

Students selected were: flutes Michelle Farrell from Caldwell and Felisha Davila from Bastrop; oboe Adrian DeLeon from Buda (Hays); bassoons Peter Szalwinski from Austin (LBJ) and Mark Visser from Houston (Langham Creek); and clarinets Trevor Collins from Cypress (Cy-Woods), Jaime Cisneros from Bastrop, Debanhi Garcia from Midlothian, Autumn Briley from Fort Worth (Western Hills), Scott Byers from Houston (C.E. King), Albert Escamilla from Tomball, Michael Kaye from Houston (Klein Forest), and Marie Burke from Waller.

Others were: bass clarinets Angel Duran from San Antonio (Southwest) and Evan Sanchez from Houston (Baytown Lee); alto saxes Jorrell Lawyer-Jefferson from Copperas Cove and Bethany Schimank from Giddings; tenor saxophone Daniel Fonville from Giddings; baritone saxes Russell Campbell from Elgin and Faith Cory from Iola; trumpets Zach Reyna from Ohio and Blake Vajgert from Buda (Lehman); and horns Howard Middleton from Houston (HSPVA), Stephen Cribbs from Desoto, and Stephen Hollifield from Montgomery.

Also selected were: trombones Erica Bankston from Giddings and Jonathan Sedano from Houston (Waltrip); bass trombone Joseph Rollins from Houston (Cy-Springs); tubas Brandon Bachman from Copperas Cove, James Marek from Cameron, Corey Klein from Cypress (Cy-Fair) and Ian Young from Elgin; and percussionists Miles Locke from East Bernard, Mark Clothier from Brazosport, Josh Baskin from Pflugerville, and Wesley Warmke, Joey Bybee and Bill Wilkinson, all from Brenham.

Saxaphones Chris Canales from Houston (Waltrip) and Jeffrey Chavez from Tomball and bass guitarist Gustavo Leos from Houston (Waltrip) qualified for the jazz ensemble.

The Blinn College Department of Music has numerous performing ensembles in the instrumental and vocal areas that provide opportunities to study diverse music, perform regularly in public, travel, and network with other student musicians. Recently, the Blinn Marching band had 69 members earn a 3.0 or better for the fall 2010 semester. Five students posted a perfect 4.0 average.

The department’s band hall is currently being renovated and will be renamed the J. Hal and Allyne Machat Music Facility. The facility’s construction, set for completion in August 2011, will add 9,515 square feet of classrooms, labs, additional rehearsal halls, new practice rooms and extra storage space.