By Rick Morwick
Bethany Robinson remembers a time in the not-too-distant past when Noblesville High School was barely represented in the All-State Jazz Band.
“About five years ago, we had our very first student selected for the All-State Jazz Band,” said Robinson, assistant band director and jazz director at NHS. “Since then the numbers have grown steadily.”
Have they ever.
Of the 39 students selected statewide for the 2019 Indiana Jazz Educators Association’s All-State Jazz Ensemble and Junior All-State Jazz Ensemble, nine were from NHS. The figure is the highest yet for the school.
Last year, seven NHS students made the ensembles.
“The large number of students from NHS is a reflection of this incredible community, our administration support and the great music education starting at our elementary schools and continuing through the middle and high schools,” Robinson said. “Our students are very dedicated, and it’s such a joy to teach such well-rounded and hard-working students.”
Students are selected through a blind audition process judged by some of the state’s top jazz musicians and college music professors. The ensembles then perform at the annual Indiana Music Educators Association Conference in the historic Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne.
This year’s event was Jan. 18.
Representing NHS on the All-State Jazz Ensemble (grades 10 through 12) were Grace Wiles (trombone) and Sam Eger (piano).
The Junior All-State members (grades seven through nine) were Nate Cook (saxophone), Connor Meinerding (trumpet), Tyler Siversten (lead trombone), Sean Vitales (trombone), Nicholas Ok (piano), Andrew Matthews (guitar) and Jay Thornbury (bass).
“I hope students thoroughly enjoy the process of preparing the (audition) music on their own, then working alongside such great musicians from other schools around the state of Indiana,” Robinson said. “It’s so special and really an unforgettable moment in your life that spurs you on to even greater achievements.”
For more, visit imeamusic.org.