The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

Eight Marksmen selected for All-State Orchestra

Eight members of the Upper School orchestra earned a place in this year’s Texas Private School Music Educators Association (TPSMEA) All-State Orchestra, including senior Miller Wendorf, juniors Daniel Sun, Andrew Xuan, Adithya Munshi, Jediel Sarfo, Brandon Kim and freshmen Ilan Gunawardena and Collin Ku.

The prestigious and highly competitive event is open to private school students from all over the state, requiring students to undergo a rigorous application process. According to Orchestra Director Sarah Choi, students begin preparing their submition at the end of the previous school year, in May.

“The governing body for (orchestra), the TPSMEA, puts out two rather challenging etudes that students need to prepare,” Choi said. “They come out in May and I recommend my students to work on them over the summer, since everybody has a little bit more time (then) to do some foundational work. Then, when school returns, and everybody’s schedule fills up, it’s very hard to put in the work necessary to do well. So our students have been pretty diligent about that, and they can let it sit back off a little bit when school starts.”

The students practiced until Thanksgiving, which is when the first round of recordings are submitted and judged. After judging, the results are sent to the applicants, telling them whether or not they earned a seat in the orchestra.

“The music for the clinic and concert was released around Christmas time,” Choi said. “They are to work on it on their own, and on Thursday [Jan. 25] they went to a location where they gathered together as an orchestra, where they actually have to do one more audition. We had somebody rank one in the auditions for bass, meaning that he earned the first chair. However, when he gets there, the seating audition means that those that took the time to learn the new music will have an opportunity to show that and earn a better seat, so his chair is not guaranteed.”

After the students were reshuffled and reseated, they began rehearsals in the afternoon of Jan. 25, until the final dress rehearsal on Jan. 27. Finally, they performed at SMU later on that same day. Junior Andrew Xuan, violinist and three-time member of the All-State orchestra, is glad that he has the opportunity to participate every year.

“After putting in the hard work, you get to come together to make music with a group of similar people for a few days,” Xuan said. “You get to have fun playing and making music, and I’ve bonded with people during those experiences.”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kayden Zhong, Staff Writer