LDHS Student Selected as Texas All-State Musician

LDHS Student Selected as Texas All-State Musician

by Susan Neuhalfen

For the first time in nine years, a member of the Lake Dallas High School Falcon Band will perform with the Texas All-State 5A Symphonic Band.

Kaitlyn Kennedy, a French horn player at LDHS competed against over 70,000 other Texas students on District, Region and Area levels to be selected to play with the Texas All-State 5A Symphonic Band. Kaitlyn is the daughter of Denise Kennedy, Director of Bands and Director of Jazz Studies at LDHS.

“I feel so honored,” said Kaitlyn who is a senior this year. “I’m excited about what I’ll learn from rehearsals, other students and our clinicians.”

All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Only 1,780 students are selected to perform in one of 15 ensembles (bands, orchestras, and choirs) sponsored by the Texas Music Educators Association (TEMA).

These All-State performances are held as part of the annual TMEA Clinic/Convention, the nation’s largest music educator’s convention. Over 29,000 people from Texas and around the world attend over 280 workshops, 100 performances, and visit over 1,300 exhibit booths.

For Katilyn and other students, there will be three days of intense rehearsals directed by nationally-recognized conductors as well as clinics that the students may visit. It all culminates on Saturday, February 17 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center when the Texas 5A Symphonic Band performs for the public.

Kaitlyn has been playing the French horn since the 6th grade and plans to study music education at Oklahoma State University in the fall. She credits much of her success to her parents, Scott and Denise Kennedy, as well as some other influential teachers. One is Dr. Benjamin Raviotta, her private lesson instructor, whom she credits as both a mentor and a friend. She said that he prepared her well for the All-State symphonic band audition as well as all of the countless other auditions and performances that she has had.

She says she also owes a lot to Assistant Band Director and Symphonic Director Juan Nunez whom many times had taken her out of ensemble class and worked with her individually. Frankie Burke, Associate Director of Bands and Percussion Director for LDHS, has watched Kaitlyn grow through the program and has always been there to encourage her. She noted that she’s been surrounded by people who encourage success and she is grateful.

“Only a very small percentage of students in the State of Texas make it to All-State band,” said Kaitlyn. “This opens up a lot of opportunities for me.”

For the All-State concert schedule and conductor information, go to the Performances section of www.tmea.org/convention.

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