Jan. 26—Ector County ISD announced in a Friday news release 6 students have earned the prestigious title of Texas All-State Musician from the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). This honor follows a rigorous series of regional and area auditions that begins with some 70,000 high school students and ends with only about 2% of those students selected as All-State.
Two of the students, Justus Davis and Shaun Price, are receiving this recognition for the fourth year in a row. Three students have earned this title for the second year in a row, and one is a newcomer to this honor.
The 2024 TMEA All-State members are:
— Justus Davis, senior, Odessa High School Choir, Tenor 1, 4-year TMEA All-State
— Shaun Price, senior, Permian High School Band, Horn, 4-year TMEA All-State
— Elijah Keast, senior, Permian High School Choir, Bass 1, 2-year TMEA All-State
— Caidence Searcy, junior, Permian High School Choir, Alto 1, 2-year TMEA All-State
— Jenesis Paget, junior, Permian High School Choir, Alto 2, 2-year TMEA All-State
— Aiden Armendariz, junior, Permian High School Orchestra, String Bass
Achieving TMEA All-State all four years of high school is a rare feat and an incredible accomplishment considering the quality of performers in the auditions. For Permian's Shaun Price it was a goal of his from the beginning of high school. It runs deep in his family. "I don't want to say I felt pressure," he said in the release, "but there was a little bit of pressure because my mom was also a four-year All-Stater."
"To be an All-State Musician means that you are the best, individually, in the State of Texas. So, it's an elite honor," ECISD Executive Director of Fine Arts Aaron Hawley said in the release. "And they'll be considered All-State Musicians for the rest of their life."
These are some of the most talented music students in the state. They are also some of the most hard-working music students in the state and that aspect is often overlooked.
"You have to work all year," said OHS's Justus Davis in the release. "It's a non-stop process. I practice every single day. At home. At school. During lunch. Wherever I can."
Price agreed. "I don't think I've gone to lunch 90% of the lunches for the past, like, seven years," he said. "While everyone else is in the cafeteria, I'm in the band hall practicing. Taking lessons every week, it's a lot of hours."
As All-State musicians, these kids will perform in one of 18 All-State ensembles in band, orchestra, and vocal divisions, as part of the TMEA Clinic/Convention February 7-10 in San Antonio. It is an experience they definitely treasure.
"TMEA [Clinic/Convention] is so fun," said Price. "It's so many amazing people. So many people who are so good at their instruments. Everyone is there for the same reason; everyone just loves to play."