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December 20, 2013

Duncan students make OMEA All-State Band

DUNCAN — Two band students from Duncan High School were named to the Oklahoma Music Education Association (OMEA) All State Band, and two others are alternates.

Junior Mason Bivens was named to first chair trumpet in the All-State Band, while senior Kody Garis was named to the second chair clarinet. For the two DHS students, making the All-State Band is a privilege few students get to enjoy. Bivens was also selected for first chair of the All-State Jazz Band, but chose the All-State Band when a decision between the two had to be made.

“It’s like all your hard work has paid off,” Bivens said. “It’s the icing on the cake.”

DHS Band Director Jeramy Haas said the All-State Band is comprised of students from around the state and in every division (not just 5A). Haas said the band is the best of the best in Oklahoma.

This means, Bivens is the best high school trumpet in Oklahoma. Garis is also toward the top when it comes to high school clarinet.

“It feels good,” Garis said. “I feel accomplished.”

Jessica Haas, junior, and Jacob Newton, senior, were named as alternates to the band. If other students drop out of the band for any reason, alternates are added to the band. Jeramy Haas said being named an alternate to the All-State Band is also an honor because the alternates are among the best performers in the state.

Haas said only 25 flutes are named to the band either in chairs or in alternates. That’s 25 students from around the state. Jessica Haas was one of those 25 students.

Newton said he was proud to be recognized by the OMEA.

“It’s really an awesome accomplishment,” Newton said.

To get ready for All-State Band tryouts, each hopeful had to put in a lot of time practicing. Jessica Haas said she practiced two hours every day leading up to tryouts. During weekdays, one hour was spent practicing with the band, one hour was spent at home by herself. On weekends, she had two practice two hours by herself.

Garis said a lot of solo practice is required. This also means to students had to push themselves to practice and to improve their stills. Newton said practicing in class also helped him to become more comfortable with playing in front of others.

For Bivens, his time spent learning his instrument and working to improve his abilities were essential to him making the All-State Band.

“The more experience you have, the better you do,” Bivens said.

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