7 band members selected for Region Band

Tomball Cougar Pride band.

Tomball Cougar Pride band.

Elise Guerra and Natalia Martinez

After competing through a virtual recording process, seven students placed into one of three bands for the All-Region Band process. Students included flute players Regina Diaz (10), Katarina Bellon (10), bassoon player Mario Rios (11), french horn players Garrett Harrison (12), Javier Diaz de Sandi Viramontes (12), trombonist Allie Klaire Ledbetter (10), and percussionist Payton Icard (12). 

All-Region Band allows students to meet new people and play challenging music with other people from Region IX. Being a 6A school, people were nervous about the audition process knowing that 6A schools are usually more competitive than 5A schools.

“I was so excited to find out I qualified for phase two of the recording process,” Regina said, “Being a sophomore, I didn’t expect to make it as highly as I did.”

Regina earned the 11th chair in a room of 97 other flute players during phase one and hopes to place even higher after the recent recordings in phase two. She has put countless hours into practicing the region music and always ensured that they were in top shape for her auditions last week.

Students had 5 months to practice three etudes that were announced in July. Working with private lesson teachers and the band directors has been a considerable part of this process. Students even kept track of their progress on Instagram accounts focused around them practicing.

If placed high enough into phase two auditions, students will continue to practice the same three etudes in order to try out for Area auditions. Those lucky enough to place in the top chair auditions will continue to All-State where they will perform three more songs for the entire state of Texas.

“Being my second year advancing to phase two is crazy,” Javier said, “I just hope that I advance further and make it all the way to All-State this time.” 

Students experiencing this process who want to major in music know it will be of huge benefit to their applications. 

“I want to major in music at the University of Houston,” Harrison said, “A lot of great band directors and even my own dad have encouraged me to pursue music as a lifelong career.”

For Icard, it marks a string of successful all region band recognitions – she has made regional band each year since 7th grade, the first year students can qualify.

Once she had submitted her recordings she felt nervous. She knew the decisions weren’t up to her anymore and it was only up to the judges.

“However I knew that no matter the outcome, I did my best,” she said, “considering that huge gap that I took competing from 5a to 6a.”

Payton plans to pursue music in college. The University of Michigan being her first choice she plans to pursue a Music Education degree, putting her on the path to be a college band director. She even has a drumming page on Instagram called “paytonicard.drums.” On there she does all kinds of challenges and it even helps her make sure she has practiced every day.

 “Music is my escape to a place that makes me enjoy life and feel nothing but pure happiness,” Payton said.