During its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10, the Spring ISD Board of Trustees recognized Spring High School’s 2021-22 Clarinet Quartet, which took the 3rd Place Ensemble award at the State Championships of the 2022 University Interscholastic League (UIL) State Instrumental Chamber Music Competition.
UIL Assistant Music Director Gabe Musella – also the former band director at Spring High School – was on hand at the meeting to present the award and personally congratulate the students and their directors, including current Spring High School Head Band Director Jason Smith, a district graduate and one of Musella’s former students, who helped develop the school’s chamber music program.
“It’s truly a special honor to be here tonight,” Musella told the trustees. “I taught here for 18 years. My wife still teaches here. My son came through the Spring program and has a master’s degree in geographic information systems, and I am very indebted to the education he received here in Spring ISD. So I believe in Spring.”
The UIL Chamber Music Festival was a brand-new event for the 2021-22 school year, one that Musella was inspired to help create and run at the statewide level as a result of his experience as a band director in Spring ISD, where he saw the level of small-ensemble talent that was on display, and wanted to create a way for students from across Texas to demonstrate and hone those unique musical skills in competition.
Spring High School’s 2021-22 Clarinet Quartet consisted of the following Spring High School students, listed below along with their current grade level:
- Reyna Bullard (Grade 12)
- Rafael Izquierdo (Class of 2022 Graduate)
- Bryan Lane (Class of 2022 Graduate)
- Zaniah Wheeler (Grade 12)
As if more evidence of the group’s talent and musical expertise were needed in addition to the statewide UIL bronze award, Spring ISD Director of Performing and Visual Arts Dr. Joe Clark explained that Bryan Lane, who graduated in the spring, was joining the board meeting via Zoom from Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute and conservatory, where Lane is now attending on a full-ride clarinet scholarship.
Board President Justine Durant applauded the current students and graduates who took part in the ensemble, and thanked their teachers and parents for encouraging their success.
“We continue to be extremely proud of our PVA programs and all the local, state, and even national recognition that you guys continue to receive,” Durant told Smith and the quartet members. “We’re very, very proud of you.”