Six Sailors named to All-State Band

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Six Steamboat Springs High School musicians were selected for the All-State Band. They are, back left, Stephen Bell and Lee Wren. Front left, Whitney Lewis and Leigh Thielen. Not pictured is Kenyon Brenner. A.J. Johnson, also not pictured, was named as an alternate.

— In one man's opinion, the bar has been raised to get into All-State Band.

"I thought the material was very difficult this year," Steamboat Springs High School band director Ken Crombie said. "I think they raise the bar every year because the talent gets better every year."

Steamboat is playing a role in the talent increase. This year, six Sailors were named to the All-State Band, which is made up of talented musicians from schools with fewer than 1,100 students.

Those students are seniors Lee Wren (trumpet), Kenyon Brenner (alto saxophone), Leigh Thielen (clarinet) and Stephen Bell (baritone clarinet) and junior Whitney Lewis (clarinet).

Senior A.J. Johnson was named an alternate on the baritone saxophone.

The All-State Band concert was Saturday at the University of Northern Colorado, but the students and Crombie left Thursday for a weekend full of music-related activities on the Greeley campus.

Thursday night was a small ensembles performance, as well as the audition for seat placement in the high school All-State Band. The UNC concert band and symphonic band performed Friday.

"It's a lot of fun," Thielen said of the weekend.

This year is the third year Thielen and Brenner have made the All-State Band, which is one of the highest accomplishments for a high school musician, Crombie said.

"The first year I auditioned was the most relaxing because I didn't know what to expect," Thielen said.

The UNC music professors traveled to Steamboat in early December to listen to seven Steamboat musicians audition for the All-State Band. The students played two set pieces, scales and had to sight-read music.

"This was the first year I seriously practiced," said Wren, who is an All-State Jazz Band veteran but a newcomer to the All-State Band.

Thielen said it is fun to take part in a weekend where all the musicians who were selected to play are interested in music and committed to practicing and performing at a high level.

- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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