Lufkin High School students Gerald Pineda, Maddyn Hartzog, and Yissell Castro have been selected to perform in the prestigious TMEA all-state music group.

I was a little nervous," Lufkin High School senior Gerald Pineda said. "I wanted to get to state. It's one of my goals as a high school musician—the greatest honor. My palms were sweaty; and my body temperature increased. I was prepared for the audition. I didn’t want to screw up my last chance. I dominated. I knew I did well."

Gerald, along with Hartzog and Castro, are among the more than 70,000 who entered the Texas Music Educators and were chosen to perform in one of the 18 ensembles.  For Lufkin High School to have three students chosen is not necessarily surprising but certainly a distinguished honor for the students and school.

Texas Music Educators Association sponsors the Texas All-State competition. The process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 33 TMEA Regions.

Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advances from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in eight TMEA Area competitions.

The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group. Only the top 2.6% of musicians who initially audition become All-State musicians.

Yisselle Castro and Maddyn Hartzog, members of the Lufkin High School Choir, will perform with the Texas All-State Mixed Choir in San Antonio on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at the Henry B. González Convention Center as part of the 2024 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention.

Yisselle and Maddyn were chosen for this prestigious honor through a competitive process at District, Region, and Area levels. Yisselle and Maddyn both sing in Kantorei, Lufkin High School’s Advanced Mixed Choir, under the direction of Nicole Stewart who is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, a 14,000+ member organization headquartered in Austin. 

"Only three Chairs are chosen for the All-State Mixed Choir from our Area, so we are so excited that Lufkin has two of the three," Nicole Stewart said.

Gerald Pineda earned 1st chair alto saxophone at the TMEA Area D competition and was named a member of the TMEA All-State 5a Symphonic Band. Gerald is a Senior at Lufkin High School. He will perform with the TMEA Texas All-State 5A Symphonic Band in San Antonio on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, in the Lila Cockrell Theater at the Henry B. González Convention Center as part of the 2024 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention.

17 Texas Themed Baby Gifts

Show off that Texas pride with these items for your baby!

Gallery Credit: Ryan Kramer

More From Kicks 105