- Cleburne Independent School District
CHS Bassoonist to Audition for TMEA All-State Band
Cleburne High School sophomore George Alazar will be among a select group of musicians auditioning Saturday for the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Band.
Alazar was named first chair bassoon in All-Region Band auditions, in which 15 CHS musicians were selected for the 9th Grade Band, All-Region Concert or Symphonic Bands. Alazar’s performance advanced him to the Area level of the 2021-22 competition and the opportunity to audition for the All-State Band.
As a freshman, he auditioned for both the Ninth Grade and All-Region Bands and was chosen for both, while also achieving first chair among fellow freshmen bassoonists.
With a year of high school performance behind him, Alazar is pleased to have advanced to the Area round of the All-State process--and going into his audition in the top spot. He credits lots of work and practice in making it this far.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I have put in a lot of practice and took advantage of that extra time during the break to work on my music. My goal for this year was to make it to Area. It would be great to make the All-State Band. One of my goals is to make state—that would be awesome. It’s good knowing that if I don’t do well this year, I still have two more years to make that goal.”
Alazar’s accomplishment is the latest in a list of music honors that began in middle school, where he achieved All-Region recognition as a seventh and eighth grader. As an eighth grader, he was among the finalists in the Annual Bocal Majority Solo Competition involving middle school and high school oboe, bassoon, contrabassoon and English horn musicians from across north Texas.
Inspired by his older sister to consider band as an elective, Alazar began his musical journey as a sixth grader in the Smith Middle School Beginning Band.
“At the end of fifth grade I met with (Smith Band Director) Mr. Hiller to determine the instrument I would play,” Alazar said. “He showed me the bassoon and I thought it looked interesting. It was either that or the clarinet—and I chose the bassoon.”
His band directors and his fellow Golden Pride musicians agree that Alazar aligns with the qualities for which the bassoon is known—a wide musical range, versatility and virtuosity.
“I guess I fit the stereotype of a bassoonist,” he said. “I’m very serious as a person and a musician. My favorite class is band, followed by math.”
While the bassoon is the instrument of choice for Alazar, during marching season you will find him with fists filled with mallets, flying down the keys of a xylophone, as a member of the front ensemble.
“I enjoy marching season,” he said. “The bassoon is perfect for concert performance, but you won’t find one in a marching band—they get drowned out by the brass. Playing a different instrument is nice, but I still practice the bassoon during marching season.”
Alazar plans to study music in college, with dreams of performing in a symphony orchestra. In the meantime, there’s lots of high school to come—and Saturday’s All-State audition.
“I wasn’t nervous at the All-Region auditions,” he said. “But that might not be the case for me at Area. I feel prepared—and ready to get this done. I’ve been working with this same piece of music for five months.”
He’s also preparing for his next musical challenge—the UIL District Solo and Ensemble Contest taking place in the spring. Alazar will be entering as a soloist, and with an ensemble as the member of a woodwind trio. In 2021, Alazar advanced to state with his solo and came away with a gold medal.
“George is doing really well and stands a good chance of advancing to All-State,” Assistant Band Director Brock Feller said. “He beat out numerous juniors and seniors to take first chair overall. We are very pleased with his achievement, but it honestly doesn’t come as a surprise to any of us. It’s true he has shown a natural talent for bassoon since he took up the instrument in the sixth grade, but it’s his work ethic and personal commitment to excellence that has led to this level of achievement in just a few short years.”