It is no secret that Hanks High School has a plethora of astounding musicians that walk through the band hall every day.
After the success of the 2017 marching season, most would argue that the season of band is over, however, band members across the nation know that the job continues. With the end of marching on the fields, comes the beginning of playing under stage lights - concert season.
Hanks has had the most students make an All-Region band every year for the past two decades. 2018 was no exception as 43 Knights made one of the three All-Region bands. The region honor, symphonic, and freshman bands performed this past Saturday, Jan. 20th, in Magoffin Auditorium at UTEP.
After a long process that started in the All-Region auditions here at Hanks, 30 Hanks band members advanced to the Area competition at Permian High School in Odessa. The Area auditions would then determine who would make the Texas UIL All-State band.
The Hanks band program has a history of excellence when it comes to amazing concert musicians. Concert season 2018 has been no exception to the brilliance of the Silver Knight Band program. This year, the Hanks band fostered six All-State band musicians. Demetrius Thornton (freshman trombone), Sean Salazar (junior trombone), Sergio Perez (senior trombone), and drum major, Nicole Melendez (senior clarinet) have all advanced to the Texas All-State concert bands. Gaining membership in any of these concert bands is one of the most prestigious achievements a high school student can achieve in the nation.
Hanks has had decades of musical excellence, but how will the band program sustain this level of achievement amongst it's members? "If you’re comfortable where you are then you will never get where you’re trying to go," says All-State band member, Nicole Melendez. She gives her advice to future generations of Silver Knight Band members, "It's all about getting out of your shell and not being afraid to fully invest yourself in your music in order to effectively communicate your message to the listeners. Every musician has a story, what will yours be?
Along with those six concert All-Staters, the Silver Knight band also entails two of the All-State jazz musicians. Jesus Escobar (junior trumpet) and Mathew Quesada (senior drum-set) gained membership in the Texas UIL All-State jazz ensemble which is a more challenging feat. Auditions for the jazz ensemble started during marching season,which just shows that these musicians were able to toggle between marching band and the laborious audition process of jazz band.
The All-State musicians from around the state of Texas will head out to San Antonio for the All-State band performance in the Spring. The Hanks band program is now be preparing for UIL Solo and Ensemble in February.