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FMS top 36 named to All Star Band

Farragut Middle School Band had reason to celebrate this past December when 36 of its members made the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association’s All Star Band.

FMS Band Director Chris MacTavish said, “Kids from about 36 middle schools in middle and east Tennessee auditioned to form two bands, a gold and a silver band. This year we had 36 kids get in.

FMS was the school with the second highest number of students who made the cut.

“Only Maryville had more kids make it than we did, they had 41,” MacTavish said.

The students auditioned Nov. 20 and only 11 FMS hopefuls were not selected for the All Star Band.

“We open it to everyone,” MacTavish said.

“We tell them, ‘here is the audition music and if you think you want to audition we will work with you.’ We started with about 100 but some kids were like, ‘No, we can’t handle this,’ so they dropped out. then we had about 11 that didn’t make junior clinic that auditioned,” he added.

Once the students were chosen for either the gold or silver bands, they performed at the Middle Area Junior Band Clinic Friday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 4, at Oak Ridge High School.

“They had a rehearsal all day Friday at Oak Ridge High School, then Saturday they gave up part of their Saturday to rehearse some more, then Saturday night they gave a concert, so in two days they rehearsed and gave a concert and it was really good,” MacTavish said.

“But you are talking about some of the most talented kids in East Tennessee,” he added.

One sixth-grade student, Abe Joo, made the cut.

Abe was joined by seventh-graders Bradley Balltrip, Ambrose Bechtel, Connor Blackman, Owen Bryan, Kaci Deakins, Sydney Embury, Madeleine Evans, Katherine Fu, Jered Hunn, Collin McDonald, Tyler Pegg, Andrew Sparks and Bradley Strnad.

Eighth-grade band members who made the cut are Charlie Baker, Nick Cafferata, Alex Chan, Charlie Cianciolo, Will Cleveland, Andrea Dai, James Eun, PeterGrossman, John Hirtz, Ian Hodge, Daniel Hong, Don Joo, Elizabeth Keeling, Danielle Kerksick, Tatum Magill, Ben Mead, Shreyas Muralidharan, Eric Parham, Raaghul Senthikumar, Sierra Sims, Emily Stanfield and Michael Xiong.

ETSBOA is the instrumental music section of the East Tennessee Education Association and is affiliated with the Tennessee Music Educators Association and the Music Educators National Conference.

ETSBOA’s main objectives are to promote the advancement of instrumental music education in the schools of East Tennessee, encourage music activities among the schools of East Tennessee through festivals, clinics and other related events, promote professional growth among its members and provide mutual assistance to its members.

Members must also be members of the Music Educators National Conference and the Tennessee Music Educators Association.

In addition to the Concert Band, MacTavish also directs the FMS Jazz Band, which consists of some members of the concert band as well as students who would not necessarily have a place in a traditional concert band.

“We have flute, saxophone, trumpet, and trombone, drums, piano, and electric guitar and bass guitar – Some instruments you don’t get to hear in a regular band,” MacTavish said.


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