Return to Headlines

District Students Perform in All-Region Band

Eight Beaumont ISD fine arts students performed in the Texas Music Educators Association Region 10 All-Region Middle and High School Bands on January 15, 2022. 

Sharing the stage with young musicians from all over southeast Texas, seven students from West Brook High School and one from Odom Academy had the opportunity to play under the direction of world-class clinicians.

To audition for the All-Region Band, Mike Murdoch, Beaumont ISD Director of Fine Arts, explained that students worked on a few pre-selected etudes (a piece of music used for  practicing techniques) for the fall semester. 

“They audition and compete against other students on their instruments for chair placement,” said Murdoch. “Students who are selected get to work with premier conductors and teachers from all across the United States and collaborate with other students in their ensembles to prepare a full concert in only three rehearsals.”

Students were placed into one of four bands, each with approximately 100 students, playing six pieces for the performance. Odom eighth-grader Gloria Msengi was the sole oboe player in Middle School Band I, conducted by Mandy Boonshaft from Syosset Central School District in Syosset, NY.

West Brook selected students included Ethan Courts, bari sax; Matthew Drago, bassoon; Laci Johnson, clarinet; Arnold Rabago, trumpet; Michael Sharpton, alto sax; and Jonathan Whitfield, trumpet. Aiden Collins, bari sax, served as an alternate.

Johnson and Whitfield performed in High School Band II, led by Charlotte Royall, retired Director of Bands at The Woodlands College Park High School. In High School Band I, Drago, Sharpton, Courts and Rabago played with Dr. Peter Boonshaft, a conductor from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

“Stephanie Alcantara (Assistant Band Director) and I are so proud of these students for making the Region 10 Band. Their hard work and dedication over the last two years is inspiring,” said David McKinley, West Brook Band Director. “The future is very bright for our band program!”