Band Students named TMEA All State


Sofia Valladares

Inbo Shim performs his saxophone at the varsity football game against Westwood on Oct. 22. Shim traveled to San Antonio in early February to the All-State TMEA Convention

Taylor Chronert, Staff Reporter

It was announced on Feb. 14 that 10 students from the Vandegrift band will represent Vandegrift in being named TMEA All State. 

“I feel very honored and privileged to be named TMEA All State,” senior and saxophone player Inbo Shim said. “As a person who is very passionate about band, it is not only an achievement, but also a great experience playing with other TMEA all state people and it is such a joy for me to make music with wonderful people.”

TMEA All State is an association of over 19,000 music educators dedicated to promoting excellence in music education. They sometimes also invite high school students to participate in their concerts as well. Shim said that making All State can be very challenging and that typically only 5 people can make it to All State. 

“There are so many talented musicians around not only in the Austin area, but around the state of Texas which makes the auditions extremely competitive,” Shim said. “I had to sacrifice a lot of time into practicing those All State Etudes such as practicing midnight after a marching band competition or going to the band hall at 7 am.”

Freshman and bassoon player James Park said he’s excited to qualify for all state as a freshman and mentioned seeing all the plaques of the people who qualified before him.

.“Making All State as a freshman isn’t something that happens too often so I’m happy to make All State as a freshman,” Park said, “remember taking a few minutes now and then just to admire the plaques in the band all listing off All-Staters. Some of those people are still here at Vandegrift, and the times I’ve heard them play make me wish I could be that good.”

Recently all ten of the qualifiers traveled to San Antonio for the TMEA State Convention where they got to rehearse and perform with the TMEA All-State Bands as well as other students who qualified.

“It was an amazing experience playing with other talented students because not only were they brilliant at playing their instrument, but they were also wonderful people, so it was easy to have interactions with them,” Shim said. 

Shim mentioned that his freshman year he was close to making All State Band and had a lot of respect for the upperclassmen that did make it and wanted to be like them someday. 

“Not only is it a huge achievement but experiencing the All State Band is something incredible and it is truly an honor and I feel proud to represent our school,” Shim said. 

Park said that he feels proud enough to know that he has gotten better and making All State motivates him to practice more. 

“I had no energy for practicing and didn’t play well so I was pretty hopeless in the beginning of the year,” Park said, “but after making All State I am more motivated to practice because I want to really push the limits of what I can really do.”

When it comes to making All State Band, the one piece of advice Shim could give to other students in the band who want to make it to All State Band like Shim and Park did is to practice daily. 

“Successful  performances are really satisfying, especially after pouring hours and hours into practices and rehearsals,” Park said, “Just being among such skilled players reminded me why I loved playing my instrument and continued to practice.”

TMEA Qualifiers:

Inbo Shim

James Park

Nadia Verlinsky

Amaan Syed

Noah Sabbavarapu

Ryan Hogarth

Hayden Grier

Koustubh Galagali 

Nathan Cong

Cade Cassens