KHS Students Qualify for All-Region Orchestra


All-Region Qualifiers • The students who made the All-Region Orchestra take a photo together. Pictured are Shanna Casayuran, Zachary Riggs, Cason Cox, Kyleigh Lewis, and Lizett Garcia. Photo by Ashaw Bailey.

On Saturday, October 9, KHS orchestra students auditioned for the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-Region orchestra. The All-Region orchestra is an orchestra consisting of the best musicians in the region.

“The music is professional level,” orchestra director Sherry Paetznick said. “It is extremely difficult, even professionals have to practice it, so learning this music makes a student a better musician.”

Auditioning for the All-Region orchestra in high school is very different from auditioning for it in middle school. The music is more challenging, the competition is more fierce, and the concert is different.

“For many students this is their first time playing in a full symphony orchestra, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion,” Paetznick said. “The students are usually very excited about it and enjoy it.” 

Students are given the All-Region music several weeks in advance. Then, about a week before the audition, students are given the All-Region cuts. The cuts are usually the hardest measures in the song.

“I practiced all my cuts for a little bit everyday to get better at playing them,” violinist and junior Kenneth Exline said.

Auditions this year were different. In the past, students would perform their audition music one at a time in a room by themselves, with the judges behind a curtain. However, this year the audition process changed to match the way the rest of the state does it. Students were all in the same room together and they auditioned in front of each other.

“Auditioning this year helped me a little bit in controlling my nerves,” Exline said. “My patience was tested a few times, but it wasn’t anything I haven’t experienced before.”

Students who made All-Region will attend a clinic at Tyler Legacy High School on December 3 to help them prepare for their concert. The All-Region concert will also take place at Tyler Legacy High School on December 4.

“My favorite part is always the concert,” Paetznick said. “It’s the culmination of months of hard work.”