The 2019-20 Smith Middle School Wind Ensemble has been chosen as a Commended Winner in the Mark of Excellence/National Wind Band Honors Project sponsored by The Foundation for Music Education.
Smith Band Director Matthew Hiller, who also serves as conductor of the Wind Ensemble, presented information on the annual competition to Trustees during the Recognition portion of Tuesday’s school board meeting.
More than 140 high school and middle school musical ensembles submitted recordings as contestants in the national competition. Cleburne’s entry was among those placing in the second quartile in being named a Commended Winner—one of only three in the Class A division, based on the number of musicians in the ensemble. Performance recordings submitted by Smith featured “Kingsfold March” by Victor Flowers, “Highland Celebration” by Alan Lee Silva and “Kaalin’s Flight” by Ryan Meeboer.
“The recordings were made during our performance at the UIL Concert and Sight Reading contest,” Hiller said. “That took place in early March and I am so grateful we had them, as schools closed due to COVID right after that. We received the top ratings of ‘Excellent’ at the UIL contest, which earned us the Sweepstakes Award. It’s exciting to know that performance would go on to receive a national award. I am very proud of these students.”
A number of the musicians in the 2019-20 SMS Wind Ensemble are now freshmen members of the Cleburne High School Golden Pride Band including George Alazar, Nayeli Arias, Sammy Arouse, Jesus Cardenas, Max Cary, Caden Cash, Izaias Cuevas, Brandon Deist, Madison Donithan, Amber Evans, Erin Febinger, Corbin Forrester, Julius Guzman, Rose Hernandez, Josiah Jackson, Jay Jones, Oscar Juarez, Kade King, Abel Lowery, Jordan Mayer, Zach McClure, Kaylee Merchant, Viviana Ramirez, Andrew Reeves, Jose Rivera, Zachary Schlotter, Raegan Stone, Kallie Taylor, Noah Taylor, Logan Thorne, Logan Turner, Gavrielle Villareal, Chase Watson and Brookelyn Wylie.
Now eighth graders at Smith, performers in the award-winning band included Aleksander Amyett, Parker Brown, Rylan Coates, Caitlyn Diaz, Lily Fojtasek, Matthew Griffin, Brenna Hollingsworth, Kaden Howington, Candace Jones, Jake Labo, Kassandra Martinez, Zach McCoy, Reese McFarland, Eddie Perez, Robert Rhea, Kayden Spurgeon, Bree Threlkeld and Lillian Williams.