All State Band

The University of North Carolina’s campus was filled with the blaring of trumpets and the thundering of drums on the weekend of the 30th, signifying the presence of the All-State Band concert at Memorial Hall. All State Band selects student musicians from across North Carolina, and blends them into one band, organized by grade level, to create a symphony of talent. This year, elementary, middle, and high school students from various counties ventured onto UNC’s campus for an evening of music, education, and fun. Apex High was proud to be represented by Abigail Poirier, Hailey Guerra, and Julianne Rejesus.

The road to All State Band is a long one. Students must first pass all-district– an individual solo competition, where each participant prepares a piece, while also performing scales and a sight-reading piece. A panel of judges received the submissions, and selected a few stand-out musicians to represent the district. To advance to All State Band, the top performers from different chairs (groups of participants who play the same instrument) are chosen to audition, and from there, a similar selection process unfolds.

All State Band trombonist Julianne Rejesus recounts the event with an air of accomplishment, stating, “We brought out the best out of each other… And standing up afterwards, and feeling that praise from the audience, it was amazing. Especially in Chapel Hill’s beautiful auditorium in Memorial Hall.” As for the performance itself, Rejesus recalls the turbulent effects of the music, as the medley of passionate notes connected the band and their audience.

Rejesus attributes a portion of the success of the concert to director Dr. Lowell Graham (referred to as Dr. LG), the conductor of the US Air Force Band. She speaks highly of the director and his capability to unite the performers, stating, “While onstage telling the audience about the pieces we were playing, he (Dr. LG) said that band is a lot like being in the Air Force. Everyone has their own job to do. Everyone has to hold their own. But everyone also has to work as a team; trust ourselves enough to trust in each other.” With the united front that the director organized, the band was able to soar to new heights. 

With years of years of experience under her belt, Rejesus has found band to be a positive group experience, as it can be a wonderful opportunity to connect with peers through music. Regarding her overall All-State experience, the musician states, “To me it represents a pay off of my passion for music. I love music and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to go to All State. It’s definitely something I will remember.”

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