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CHS Junior Named to 5A All-State Band

Cleburne High School bassoonist George Alazar has achieved the top honor for a high school musician in being selected for the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Band.

Alazar was named to the 5-A All-State Band following Area B auditions conducted Saturday at Coppell High School, in which he was awarded first chair bassoon. This was Alazar’s second year to advance to the Area round of the annual audition competition.

“With this achievement, he’s now among the best of the best,” CHS Assistant Band Director Brock Feller said. “Being selected for the All-State Band is the highest honor, the highest pinnacle of achievement for a Texas high school musician.”

“This accomplishment is the result of months of work, and also reflects George’s growth and commitment to music from that first day of beginning band in sixth grade to where he is today,” Feller said. “He is incredibly dedicated to our band program and to developing his own skill set, as a musician. He is fueled by his personal drive to be the best he can be.”

Alazar believes his experiences from the 2022 Area audition for state as a contributing factor as a 2023 competitor.

“I knew, after taking second chair at Area last year, that making the All-State Band was something I really wanted,” he said. “That required making first chair and it was a goal I set for myself. I’ve put in a lot of work on my own, along with practice time in class and at school with Mr. Jones and Mr. Feller and with Mr. (Matt) Hiller, who is my private lesson instructor.”

“I felt I performed really well in the audition, but was nervous waiting for the results,” Alazar said. “Last year, I was the only Cleburne student competing at Area. I was also less stressed this year because there were four of us auditioning.

Receiving TMEA All-Area Band honors on Saturday were Lily Fojatesk, Melissa Griffin and Dylan Branch.

“Taking four Area qualifiers to the state audition was very exciting,” Feller said. “But it really didn’t come as a surprise. This group of students has shown an extreme level of performance and work ethic and the honor of being a member of the Area band is representative of that.”

Alazar will join with fellow members of the 5-A All-State Band for a series of clinics and will be among the featured performers at the TMEA State Convention taking place February 8-11 in San Antonio.

The 16-year-old dedicates ten hours practice time a week to the bassoon. He was a drum major in the Golden Pride during marching season, and he has also mastered the tenor saxophone as a member of the CHS Jazz Band. He may take a small break in his practice schedule—but it will be a short one. Alazar is now preparing for the upcoming UIL District Solo and Ensemble Contest, in which he will be competing as a soloist and in a small group.  

“Music is my passion,” says the bassoonist, who claims math as his favorite subject. “I just want to keep building as a musician and making the All-state Band is one way to do that. I think I will be a life-long musician.”

The Texas Music Educators Association sponsors the All-State band, vocal and orchestra audition process to promote students’ dedication to their musical knowledge and skill and to encourage educators to support their students in this development. Beginning each fall, over 70,000 high school students across the state audition in their TMEA Region.

Twelve members of the Golden Pride will be among those performing in concert Friday at Keller Fossil Ridge High School following their selection for the TMEA 5-A All-Region Honor Bands. All-Region Concert Band honorees include Alek Amyett, Sophie Auvenshine, Thomas Cox, Jacob Mahaffey, Jacob Rodriguez and Maryn Tennison. Performing in the All-Region Symphonic Band will be Alonzo Gonzalez and Kassandra Martinez along with Alazar, Griffin, Fojtasek and Branch.