On Jan. 13, members of the Sealy High School band traveled to Robinson so they could audition to be a part of the Association of Texas Small School Bands All-State Band.
"The students had tryouts in November to see if they would make the region band and advance to the area tryouts, " said director Rolando Cantu.
Fifteen students tried out, 10 students made the All-Region band and seven advanced to the area tryouts. Those students were Kendall Faichtinger (flute), David Molina (clarinet), Blake Zaskoda (tuba), Joseph Clay (trombone), James Statham (trumpet), Matthew Mlcak (trumpet) and Sofia Olvera (clarinet).
"They are competing with students all over the region, including private schools which most of them don't do marching band, so they work on the region music a lot,” Cantu said. “When they get to audition to a part of the All-State Band, we take them overnight to Robinson, which is 10 miles from Waco, and let students just relax.”
Sealy High School had a student advance to the All-State Band for the fourth year in a row. Sophomore David Molina, who plays clarinet, placed sixth in the area and advanced to the ATSSB All-State Band.
"It's quite an honor especially doing it with such a hard instrument. The clarinets are very competitive, and out of 30 that auditioned, on any given day any of the top 12 have the chance to make the band,” Cantu said.
Molina did well in region, receiving perfect scores from the judges with one judge giving him three points shy of a perfect score.
“David was well prepared and he is tenacious,” Cantu said. “He said this would be his year and he worked every day to achieve that goal."
Molina works with Kay Kenner-Ashcroft and Nathan Ashcroft at Performing Fine Arts of Sealy and he gave them enormous credit for his growth as a musician.
"Mr. Ashcroft started working with me last year and he noticed that I had tremendous potential but needed polish as a musician,” Molina said. “He had to break down a lot of what I was doing and then build me back up. I'm very grateful for their work with me.”
Molina will travel to San Antonio on Feb. 14-17 and go to the annual Texas Music Educators Association Molina will rehearse with the state’s finest musicians as they prepare for a concert on Feb. 17.
"It will be exciting to sit next to the very best in the state and we have the same mindset of being great musicians,” Molina said. “I get a chance to try out against all of these clarinet players for chairs in the band and although I placed sixth in area, it gives me the chance to be first in the state and that is my goal.”
Cantu said Molina’s drive to achieve his goal is what embodies him as a person.
“That's David for you. He doesn't want to lose at anything,” Cantu said. “I think he already has that tryout music memorized and playing it at insane tempos. I know he will turn heads and I hope he learns a lot from this experience."