During its April 12 regular meeting, the Spring ISD Board of Trustees recognized three Spring ISD students – from Dekaney High School and Spring High School – selected as 2021-22 All-State Musicians by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).
“All-State is the highest individual honor a Texas music student can receive,” said Chief of Communications Lester Gretsch during his introductory remarks, “and being chosen for the All-State ensembles is an honor that goes to just a select few across the state each year – truly the cream of the crop among student musicians.”
The All-State student musicians representing their schools and the district at this year’s TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio were:
Student: Diego Chapela-Perez
Campus: Dekaney High School
Ensemble: 2022 All-State Concert Band (Alto Saxophone)
Student: Jeanna Edquist
Campus: Spring High School
Ensemble: 2022 All-State Mixed Choir (Alto 1)
Student: Rafael Izquierdo Santacruz
Campus: Spring High School
Ensemble: 2022 All-State Symphonic Band (B-flat Clarinet)
Students are chosen for the prestigious honor through a competitive audition process held across the state at District, Region, and Area levels before each year’s All-State musicians are finally selected. This year, approximately 1,800 students were chosen through a process that began with over 70,000 students auditioning statewide, all competing for placement in one of 18 TMEA All-State ensembles, including bands, orchestras, percussion and jazz ensembles, and choirs.
The achievement puts Chapela-Perez, Edquist and Izquierdo Santacruz among the top 2.5% of high school student musicians in the state, a fact pointed out by Director of Performing and Visual Arts Dr. Joe Clark during his remarks.
“Our students continue to amaze me every day, and I’m proud of their work, and of their teachers,” said Clark, before welcoming music faculty from each of the programs to help introduce the students.
Dekaney High School Director of Bands Chase Giddings said that, despite still being a sophomore, Chapela-Perez had already achieved a milestone for the campus.
“Diego is a sophomore at Dekaney High School making the all-state band,” Giddings said, “and actually he’s made history for Dekaney, as he’s our first saxophonist to make the all-state band.”
Spring High School Assistant Choir Director Jessica Melancon, meanwhile, praised Edquist as an all-around talent – both in choir and in the classroom – as well as a well-rounded person.
“She’s a great student, but she’s a really phenomenal human being as well, and we’re really proud of her,” Melancon said.
Finally, Spring High School Assistant Band Director Jason Smith introduced Izquierdo Santacruz, saying the senior had been accepted to music programs at multiple colleges and was now weighing scholarship offers to help him fund his postsecondary goals.
“Even though he’s a soft-spoken young man, not a man of many words, he’s found a resounding voice in the clarinet and the study of clarinet performance,” Smith said. “He is truly an incredible young musician and brilliant young man to work with every day. We’re really grateful for him.”
Clark went on to thank the students’ parents and teachers, and gave a special thanks to principals and administrators for continuing to support strong arts education in Spring ISD schools.
“I’m just so grateful for all of the campus leadership,” Clark said. “They continue to go out of their way for all their students, both in and out of the classrooms. They recognize the importance of pushing and supporting excellence in their programs, and we’d like to thank them for their leadership.”
In addition to performing with their respective all-state ensembles, participating students also receive a valuable masterclass-style learning experience during the convention, training under the baton of nationally recognized conductors during the days of rehearsal leading up to each group’s final performance.
“I’d like to congratulate Diego, Jeanna and Rafael,” said Board President Justine Durant after each of the students had been introduced. “We’re very, very proud of you.”