A member of the award-winning Bullard High School Panther Band program will represent the organization on the state’s largest stage, as senior clarinetist Megan McCoy was recently selected as a member of the TMEA All-State Band.
“I am very proud of Megan and her accomplishment as a TMEA All-State musician,” said Gary Jordan, Bullard ISD Director of Bands. “She is an extremely part of the Panther Band. She’s our first chair clarinet player and has served our program in a number of roles on a daily basis. This band would be severely handicapped without the work she puts in every single day.”
According to Jordan, the pinnacle goal for McCoy during her senior year was to make the TMEA All-State Band’s roster.
“She set the goal of being a member of the All-State Band at the beginning of this school year,” said Jordan. “There used to be two All-State Bands for Class 4A, but they’ve since cut it back to one band, which makes it even more difficult to make it. Texas is a very large state, sio there’s a lot of competition for the All-State chairs.”
McCoy said making the TMEA All-State Band as a senior was even sweeter this year after having been close to the honor during her junior year of high school.
“I almost cried,” said McCoy, when describing her emotions at the time of her All-State recognition. “It was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders because of all the pressure I put on myself to make it. After being so close to making last year, it was awesome to finally make the All State Band senior year. The hours spent learning the etudes helped me grow as a musician. Performing with such an awesome group of musicians is something I am really looking forward to.”
McCoy, who has previously served as assistant drum major and currently serves as assistant head drum major, was named to the second chair in the TMEA Region 21 All-Region Symphonic Band in December.
Afterwards, she competed at the TMEA Area C All-Area try-outs, where she was one of eight Panther Band member selected for the All-Area recognition.
According to Jordan, the level of musical skill and ability to perform music designated for the All-Region Band process is challenging to high school students since the musical literature is from the collegiate repertoire.
“The All-Region music is college-level etudes that we take excerpts from in order to prepare the band,” said Jordan. “There’s both slow and fast etudes, plus the musician also has to play a number of scales in sometimes either two or three octaves. It’s definitely a challenging task, to say the least. There’s got to be a lot of hard work, dedication, and effort.”
McCoy, a five-year member of the Panther Band, said the process of preparing to compete at the All-Region, All-Area, and All-State levels is time consuming, with a large amount of practice necessary to be successful.
“Making the band requires hours of practice,” said McCoy. “We are given the music in June and practice it until auditions and through the audition process. There are two etudes and eight scales that we have to learn to the best of our ability. The process of All-Region is stressful because you have to play well and stand out just enough in a large group of people who play the exact same music.”
Jordan said in preparation of a trip to perform with the TMEA All-State Band, McCoy will perform at an audition to determine her seat in the band, requiring her to play sections of musical selections that will be performed at the All-State Band concert.
McCoy credited a number of people, including her parents and band directors, both current and former, for assisting her in achieving her new musical achievement.
“I am beyond thankful for my parents, the band directors, and Mrs. Newland for supporting me and giving me the tools to accomplish my goals,” said McCoy.
With her recognition as a member of the TMEA All-State Band, McCoy, along with Jordan, will travel to the annual TMEA Conference, scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 14-17, inside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.
McCoy is scheduled to perform with the TMEA All-State Band at the event Saturday, Feb. 17, inside the convention center’s Lila Cockrell Theater.