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Three Perform As Part of All-State

By Staff | Mar 13, 2019

Photo Provided Pictured are Matthew Riddle, George Kester, Makenzie Hakes, and Matt Jennings.

George Kester, Matthew Riddle, and Makenzie Hakes represented the Tyler Consolidated High School Band this past weekend as members of the West Virginia All-State Band. This three-day event, which began March 7th, culminated in a series of concerts held at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium last Saturday, March 9th.

The All-State Band is held in conjunction with the West Virginia Music Educators Association’s In-Service Conference. This 73rd annual conference included a variety of clinics, meetings, performances by middle school and high school state honor groups, and the rehearsal and performances of the all-state ensembles: band, choir, high school orchestra, middle school orchestra, and children’s chorus.

Membership in the West Virginia All-State Band is earned by a rigorous audition process. Kester, Riddle, and Hakes began practicing for their audition in late May, 2018. Their audition was held at the College of Creative Arts on the campus of West Virginia University in early December. Of the nearly 500 that auditioned, 102 outstanding instrumentalists from around the state were awarded membership in the All-State Band. Overall, Tyler County was represented by eight students who were members of the all-state band, all-state choir, or all-state children’s chorus.

The guest conductor for the All-State Band this year was Jack Stamp (this was his third time to serve as guest conductor for the All-State Band). Stamp became an adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2015 where he teaches conducting. Prior to this appointment he served as Director of Band Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for 25 years. In addition, he also served as chairperson of the music department for six years. He received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree from IUP, a Master’s in Percussion Performance from East Carolina University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting from Michigan State University.

Prior to his appointment at IUP, he served as chairman of the Division of Fine Arts at Campbell University in North Carolina. In addition to these posts, Dr. Stamp served as conductor of the Duke University Wind Symphony (198889).

He is active as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and composer throughout North America and Great Britain. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by leading military and university bands across the United States.

George Kester, a junior is the son of Nancy and Mike Kester of Middlebourne. George was 8th chair percussion. Matthew Riddle, a second-year all-state musician is the son of Stephanie and George Riddle of Sistersville. Riddle, a sophomore was the 1st chair tuba player was a member of the All-State Orchestra last year. Freshman Makenzie Hakes was the 4th chair French Horn player. She is the daughter of Tracy and Bill Hakes of Middlebourne. Their director is Matt Jennings.