February 14, 2012
Blake Bridges  Zach Morgan  Jessica Taylor

Granbury High School seniors Blake Bridges and Jessica Taylor along with junior Zach Morgan performed with all-state ensembles to close the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) state conference at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio on February 11, 2012.


Bridges performed with the TMEA Men’s Choir, while Taylor sang with the TMEA Women’s Choir.  This marked the third year in a row for Bridges to be chosen for the state vocal ensembles.  He was also named an Outstanding Soloist at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest in May 2010.


For Morgan, he had one last audition once he arrived in San Antonio.  After placing third among all French horn players, Morgan selected to perform with the TMEA Symphony Orchestra – a top ensemble comprised mainly of Class 5A instrumental musicians.  By advancing to the state ensembles, Morgan became the first GHS student to qualify for the state instrumental groups since 1994, according to band director Mark Eastin.


The students in the state ensembles participated in three days of rehearsals by nationally-recognized conductors.  Their performances for thousands of attendees brought the convention to a close.


Conductors for these students’ ensembles were:  Symphony Orchestra – Carl St. Clair, music director with the Pacific Symphony; Men’s Choir – Matt Oltman, music director emeritus of the Grammy Award-winning male vocal ensemble Chanticleer; Women’s Choir – Sharon Paul, music professor at the University of Oregon.


All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive.  The two students were chosen through a competitive process involving several levels of auditions held this school year throughout the state.  Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part.  From this ranking, a select group advances from each of the twenty-eight regions to compete against others in seven area competitions.


Only five hundred are selected for the state ensembles from among the 55,000 band, choir, and orchestra students that initially entered the multi-level musical competition.
Pictured above are (left to right) Blake Bridges, Zach Morgan, and Jessica Taylor.

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