Martin students secure All West spots

(from left to right) Westview band members Isaac Ivy, OwenOelrich, Jonah Simmons, James McGregor, Daniel Capua, and Amy Kang secured chairs in the All West bands and/or orchestra after auditioning in January in Jackson. As first chairs in the regional band, McGregor, Ivy and Capua will also proceed to the All State Band. (Not shown: Michael Moon)
Having secured chairs in the All West Middle School Band, (from left) Lucy Oelrich and Samantha Bates will travel to Memphis on Feb. 13-15 to take part in rehearsals that lead to a final Saturday concert at Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

Two Martin Middle School students and seven Westview High School students have claimed prized positions in the West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association’s All West Band.

Longtime Westview/Martin Middle band director Mike Tucker was joined this year by Jennifer Cupples who is a member of the WTSBOA Executive Board and the incoming president for the association whose purpose is to promote the study of instrumental music through band and orchestra programs in the schools of West Tennessee.

The organization has continually sponsored numerous events such as Marching Festival, Concert Festival, All-West Clinic Groups, and Solo and Ensemble Festivals.

This year’s All West Band/Jazz Auditions were held on January 18 at North Side High School in Jackson.

Securing the prized chairs for their instruments in the two (blue and red) bands and the symphony orchestra also means advancing to the Memphis All-West Tennessee Convention in Memphis February 13-15. There the following musicians will rehearse with students from across the region and their efforts will culminate in concerts at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on Friday and Saturday:

Middle Band
Samantha Bates, clarinet, 8th chair red 
Lucy Oelrich, trombone, 7th chair red

9th-10th grades Senior Band
Amy Kang, clarinet, 21st chair blue
Michael Moon, trombone, 4th chair red
Owen Oelrich, trumpet, 8th chair red

11th-12th grades Senior Band
Daniel Capua, tenor sax, 1st chair blue
James McGregor, trumpet, 2nd chair blue

11th-12th Senior Symphony Orchestra
Jonah Simmons, 2nd chair trumpet 
Isaac Ivy, 1st chair percussion

The top chairs of All West also advance to be a part of All State Band, April 15-18 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Capua, Ivy, and McGregor will be a part of the All State band in April.

Capua and Ivy, both seniors with plans to continue their music studies at UT Martin, have made the trip to All State two times previously, but didn’t assume their third and final was a given. The competition is stiff and the positions available are limited, they underscored. Ivy claimed one of only two percussion spots available in the orchestra. Capua plays the saxophone and will be filling the only chair for that instrument in the All State Band.

Cupples points out that competing and placing in All West Tennessee Bands or All State Bands often lead to college scholarships.

Of the more than 2,100 students who auditioned in Jackson, approximately 785 vied for chairs for middle school, 615 for 9th/10th, almost 600 for 11th/12th, and 140 for All West Jazz.