WHS freshman makes All-State Band

Post date: Jun 24, 2020 10:56:10 AM

Wells High School student Hunter Roberts was selected this past school year by the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) to be part of the Association’s annual All-State Band. The fourteen year-old freshman, who plays clarinet, is the first WHS Band member to have been selected for this honor in some time.

If this had been a typical school year, the All-State Band would have played in the All-State Music Festival at the University of Maine in Orono. This annual event also features Orchestra, Mixed Chorus, & Treble Chorus performances. However, this year, as with so many other public events, the Festival was canceled as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Fortunately, all was not lost as Roberts and the other student musicians selected were able to feature their musicianship by participating at a distance in the production of a virtual concert. Thanks to the MMEA, students were able to record their individual performances onto a common track to be assembled later for a special recording of what their concert performance might have sounded like had they been able to perform all together live before an audience.

“Having the honor of qualifying for the Maine All-State Band feels amazing!” commented Roberts. “When I started playing the clarinet, I could have never expected to make it this far. Although participating in a virtual band was not the ideal experience I was hoping for, it was still worth it after all the hard work I had to put in to make it into such a Band.”

Larry Downing is the recently retired musical director at WHS. “He is the first WHS Band member to be accepted in a number of years,” commented Downing about Roberts’ acceptance into the All-State Band. “It is certainly a major accomplishment to be accepted as a freshman.” Downing noted that Hunter was also active in Marching Band, Jazz Band, the WHS 2019 fall play, and the school’s annual spring musical for 2020 which was postponed.

According to its website, the mission of the MMEA “…is to promote and advance Music Education by providing a voice and venue for advocacy and advancement of Music Education in Maine.”

WHS All-State Band 2020 student Hunter Roberts