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TCHS Band Students Attend All-State Band

By Staff | Mar 18, 2020

Nachelle Probst, Savannah Ferrell, Maddie Ice, Matthew Riddle, Makenzie Hakes, and Autumn Shepherd were members of the All-State Band while George Kester represented the Knights in the All-State Orchestra. Their director is Matt Jennings.

Seven Tyler Consolidated High School Band students represented the Knights Band as West Virginia All-State Musicians. Nachelle Probst, Savannah Ferrell, Maddie Ice, Matthew Riddle, Makenzie Hakes, and Autumn Shepherd were members of the All-State Band while George Kester represented the Knights in the All-State Orchestra. This three-day event, which began March 5, culminated in a series of concerts held at the Clay Center on Saturday, March 7.

The All-State Band is held in conjunction with the West Virginia Music Educators Association’s In-Service Conference. This 74th 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 and Orchestra is earned by a rigorous audition process. All seven of these students began practicing the required audition pieces last summer. Their audition was held at the College of Creative Arts on the campus of West Virginia University in early December. Of over 550 that auditioned, 125 outstanding instrumentalists from around the state were awarded membership in the All-State Band. Overall, Tyler County was represented by 13 students who were members of the all-state band, all-state choir, or all-state children’s chorus.

Selections performed by the All-State Band included: Konigsmarsch Richard Strauss/Arr. Barrett; An American in Paris George Gershwin/Arr. Brubaker; Ash Jennifer Jolley; Wedding Dance Jacques Press/ Arr. Fennell. The All-State Orchestra repertoire consisted of: Symphony No. 2 Finale Peter I. Tchaikovsky; For the Love of Music – Nate Strasser; Peer Gynt: Suite No. 1 – IV. In the Hall of the Mountain King Edward Grieg.

The guest conductor for the All-State Band this year was Steven D. Davis is a lauded, versatile, and cosmopolitan conductor who has conducted ensembles around the world. Davis currently serves as the Rose Ann Carr Millsap Missouri Distinguished Professor of Music and Professor of Conducting, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. The All-State Orchestra Conductor was John Devlin, the newly appointed Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Devlin is only the ninth conductor in its 90-year history to hold that title and, at 33, is one of the nation’s youngest music directors to lead a professional symphony orchestra.

George Kester, a second-year all-state musician is the son of Nancy and Mike Kester of Middlebourne. George was 1st chair percussion in the orchestra. Nachelle Probst, daughter of Violet and Brian Probst of Paden City. Nachelle performed as the 5th chair trumpet. Savannah Ferrell, daughter of Cheryl and Jeff Ferrell of Middlebourne was second chair bass clarinet.

This is Savannah’s second year as an All-State Band member. Maddie Ice made her debut as an all-state musician as 4th chair bass clarinet. She is the daughter of Shelley and Brent Ice of Sistersville. Matthew Riddle, a third-year all-state musician, is the son of Stephanie and George Riddle of Sistersville. Riddle, a junior was the 1st chair tuba player was a member of the All-State Band last year. Sophomore Makenzie Hakes was the 5th chair French Horn player. She is the daughter of Tracy and Bill Hakes of Middlebourne. This was Makenzie’s second year in the All-State Band. Lastly, freshman Autumn Shepherd performed as the 6th chair clarinet in the band. She is the daughter of Margie and Jason Shepherd of Pennsboro. Their director is Matt Jennings.