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Thirteen Denton ISD Students Selected for All-State Band, Choir, Orchestra, Dance

Thirteen Denton ISD musicians and dancers earned All-State honors for the 2023-2024 school year from the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and the Texas Dance Educators Association (TDEA).

TMEA is an organization of more than 12,000 school music educators dedicated to promoting excellence in music education. Musicians are chosen for the prestigious honor of all-state through a competitive process held across Texas at the district, region and area levels. This process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 33 TMEA regions.

Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advance from their region to compete against musicians from areas in eight TMEA Area competitions. The highest ranking musicians judged at the area competition qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group.

All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can achieve. Only 1,875 students are selected through a process beginning with over 70,000 students – meaning only the top 2.6% of musicians who initially audition become All-State musicians.

All-state musicians will perform at the TMEA Clinic and Convention Feb. 7-10 in San Antonio.

“It takes a ton of hard work and determination to end up being selected as a Texas All-State musician,” said Eddy Russell, Director of Fine Arts. “We are very fortunate to have exceptional private lesson teachers and music directors helping the students be so well prepared for their auditions. We will be extremely proud to see these students representing Denton ISD on the TMEA stage in February.”

The TDEA All-State Dance Team is comprised of dancers representing schools from across the state of Texas. All-State dancers participated in the TDEA All-State Convention Jan. 10-13 in Houston. The experience included dance workshops, leadership training, master classes and networking with other students. The All-State Dance Team experience culminates in a performance choreographed by a master choreographer.

“Only one dance student from each high school can be selected for the TDEA All-State Dance Team,” Mr. Russell said. “It is an incredible honor for a student to be selected to perform in this prestigious group and represent their campus dance program. These outstanding students enjoy and learn a lot from the workshops and masterclasses they get to experience at the TDEA State Convention. Being a member of the All-State Dance Team is an experience these dancers will never forget.”

The Denton ISD students named to the highest musical and dance honor in Texas include the following:

Braswell Band
Nathan Contreras, All-State Jazz Ensemble, Trumpet
Mr. Aaron Snipes III, Director
Mr. Taylor Sitzman, Assistant Director
Mr. DeCorian Hailey, Principal

Braswell Choir
Matthew Barrios, All-State Choir, Tenor 2
Mr. Derrick Brookins, Director
Ms. Kaela Vance, Assistant Director
Mr. DeCorian Hailey, Principal

Guyer Orchestra
Celine Cho, All-State Philharmonic Orchestra, Violin
Ms. Michelle Hanlon, Director
Ms. Sarah Wright, Assistant Director
Dr. Shaun Perry, Principal

Guyer Choir
Anastasia Reed, All-State Choir, Soprano 2
Marshall Miller, All-State Choir, Bass 1
Ms. Katherin Engle, Director
Mr. Tyler Fox, Assistant Director
Dr. Shaun Perry, Principal

Ryan Choir
Favour Ayeni, All-State Treble Choir, Alto 2
Mr. David Rives, Director
Mx. Sam Kats, Assistant Director
Mr. Vernon Reeves, Principal

Ryan Band
Pablo Acosta, All-State Bass Clarinet
Cooper Randolph, All-State Contrabass Clarinet
Mr. Jarrod Beard, Director
Ms. Nachel Konemann, Associate Director
Mr. Vernon Reeves, Principal

Ryan Orchestra
Osiel Cardenas, All-State Viola
Mr. Jeremy Atkins, Director
Mr. Vernon Reeves, Principal

Braswell Dance
Keira Oshunkentan, All-State Dance
Ms. Kristina Rankin, Ms. Briana Eason and Ms. Tiana Martinez, Directors
Mr. DeCorian Hailey, Principal

Denton Dance
Grey Collier, All-State Dance
Ms. Kerri Burgess and Ms. Jamitrice Keating-Lynton, Directors

Guyer Dance
Sophia Moore, All-State Dance
Ms. Rachel Simpson and Ms. Lauren Uddin, Directors

Ryan Dance
Jayden Luster, All-State Dance
Ms. Keli Jones and Ms. Emily Schaefer, Directors