The General Journal

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The General Journal

The General Journal

All-State Honor Musicians “Band” Together to Perform

Eight HHS students traveled to Athens, Georgia, for the All-State Honor Band performance on March 2, 2024.
Ace of Photos

Freshmen Nicolas Anchondo and Hudson Case, sophomore Abigail Stoetzner, juniors Trevor Boydston, Riley Case, Clara Beth Elsenrath, and Sammy Hilles, and senior Hayden Buckman, from the Heritage High School Band, were recently sent to Athens, Georgia, to perform in the All-State Honor Band. 508 kids were accepted into the All-State Honor Band, and we had eight students accepted. That doesn’t seem like much, but considering that there are 808 high schools in Georgia, and 508 students are accepted, then each high school can expect to have one or less students accepted, so the Heritage Band did pretty well to have eight students accepted. The Heritage High School All-State Honor Band members placed eighth in the amount of students they sent in the state.

M. Petteys

To be able to take part in such a performance, students had to make it through two rounds of competitions to be in the All-State Band, so they have to be the best of the best in the state. Students from all over the state first competed for District Honors back in December, and the kids who made it through competed in the All-State round of auditions in January to be a part of the All-State band performance on March 2nd. 

“I had to prepare a couple of études, which are little pieces that I had to play,” Nicolas Anchando said. “I also had to do a sight reading, which is where you go in there and you play a piece that you’ve never seen before.”

Anchondo told us that in preparation for the auditions and the performance, he practiced around 10 to 15 hours a week. That’s around 2 hours every day, but clearly the hard work paid off, since he was able to be one of eight Heritage students to go to Athens for the All-State performance.

Ace of Photos

However, one student almost didn’t go, but at the last second was selected to be in the performance. “Mr. Wynn, the band director, called me into his office and I thought I was in trouble and he’s like, ‘No, you’re not in trouble. This is kind of weird. You’ve been called to All-State,’” said Hudson Case, a freshman drummer. “It’s a three hour drive to get there, to Athens, and rehearsal started in four hours,” Case said. “So I had to leave school and rush home to pack everything in five minutes and then leave. And then I got there and I had to sight read the music because a lot of the people already had the music ahead of time.”

During the trip, the All-State Honor Band got to spend time together and even make new friends while getting to play music together. Famous conductors, such as Jeffrey Grogan, Jaclyn Hartenberger, and David Kehler, were brought in to help with the All-State Honor Band. The All-State Band played songs like “Over the Moon” and “Spoon River.” The Heritage Honor Band students look forward to hopefully being a part of it again next year.


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About the Contributor
Caleb Peponis
Caleb Peponis, Staff Writer
Caleb Peponis is a freshman at Heritage High School, and this is his first year in Journalism. When Caleb isn’t in school or doing homework, he enjoys listening to all types of music (mostly pop and country) and reading books. He mostly reads dystopian books and some  mystery/thrillers. He also enjoys watching TV and spending time with his family and pets. Some of his favorite shows to watch are "Modern Family" and pretty much any competition-type show. He isn’t usually seen on his phone other than when he is texting his friends. Caleb and his family like to go roller skating on the weekends when there’s not a lot going on. He has a younger brother and sister, as well as two dogs and a cat. Along with being in Journalism, Caleb has also taken the intro classes for Graphic Design and Healthcare Services. He takes all Honors classes and is involved in HOSA because he plans on being a pediatric registered nurse. Two of his favorite subjects are math and language arts. Caleb is looking forward to this semester and taking the Journalism class.