• September 17, 2019

High schools unveil all-state musicians - Odessa American: ECISD

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High schools unveil all-state musicians

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  • State Bound

    From left, Odessa High School's Xan Carrasco and Zachary Brown, and Permian High School's John Eychaner and Justice Dominguez have been named All-State Musicians.

Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 3:34 pm

All-state musicians from Odessa and Permian high schools will journey to the Texas Music Educators Association clinic and convention next month.

Those attending are a mixture of vocalists and musicians. The gathering runs from Feb. 13 through Feb. 16 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

Xan Carrasco, an 18-year-old Odessa High School senior, is making his first trip for choir.

“I’m just really excited about it. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve put a lot of work into it this year, so I’m really happy about it,” Carrasco said.

He said he has tried for all-state before, but didn’t make it.

“I wasn’t as scared this year. In previous years, I’ve made it to pre-area and I was scared so I would choke and not continue, but I was more confident (this time),” Carrasco said.

Zachary Brown, a 20-year-old senior bassoon player at OHS, said this is the first time he has made all-state. He added that he’s glad about all the support he has received.

“It feels overwhelming, because at area, I made first chair for the first time ever in my high school career and I posted it on social media about the results. Everyone was like constantly congratulating me and I posted on Instagram, too, and had the same result,” Brown said.

Justice Dominguez, a 17-year-old junior, and John Eychaner, a 17-year-old senior, both from Permian are going to all state for band.

Dominguez, who plays the flute, got the honor last year, as well.

“I’m trying to approach it the same every single time that I have the chance to do it because I want to stay humble about it and not have a big head,” Dominguez said.

She added that there was more competition this year.

“… I thought everybody had a really, really good shot. I guess I felt more prepared this year. I felt more prepared for the audition. I guess my auditions went a little smoother this year,” Dominguez said.

Eychaner, who plays percussion, said this is his first all-state trip. He was first alternate last year and said it was good to finally make it.

“I’m excited. I think the joy of it hasn’t really set in yet and I think it will get more exciting as we get closer to the contest, or as I actually go to San Antonio for the contest,” Eychaner added.

Like his peers, he felt less jittery this year for his tryout.

“I feel like I was kind of nervous stepping up to the instruments last year. But this year, we had a lot more mock auditions. I think I was smoother and more prepared this year,” Eychaner said.

Raeslyn Miller, a 16-year-old Permian junior, is making her first trip to all-state this year in choir.

“I was really excited. I was really nervous that what I did wasn’t enough,” Miller said.

Miller added that sight reading was what knocked her out last year, but this year it got her in.

Benjamin Corman, an 18-year-old PHS senior, is making his third trip to San Antonio for his singing prowess.

“I feel great,” Corman said of the achievement. “I’ve worked pretty hard on doing this and it’s really paid off. The TMEA experience is always phenomenal and I love going to it every year. I’m going to miss it, definitely.”

He said getting to all-state has gotten easier for him as he’s grown up because he’s gained confidence in himself.

“And it’s just made me a better person overall,” Corman said.

Sixteen-year-old junior Ashton Aranda, also attending for choir, said her junior year has been more difficult than her sophomore year.

“… I’ve been worried about practicing and it felt like more of a relief as well as an achievement after all this stress and change,” Aranda said.

Josh Smiley, an 18-year-old senior, is making a second trip to state.

“It was a lot more difficult this year. There were a lot of changes going on at Permian. We lost several directors. They didn’t die. They just moved, so there was a lot of change and just overcoming the change and still scoring the same that I did last year, it’s a big step for me, I think,” Smiley said.

OHS Head Choir Director Ginger Storey and Permian Head Choir Director Ken Sieloff said they are proud of their students.

Storey said Carrasco has worked hard and deserves to make it to all-state in choir.

Sieloff said his students worked hard individually this year.

“I’m just very proud of their individual effort toward this goal. Ben Corman is a third-year all- stater, so that’s very exciting for him. We have two, two-year all-staters and a first year,” he added.

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