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TMEA All-State Band

Congratulations to these amazing student musicians for their outstanding success in making the 2023 TMEA All-State Band!
7 teens
Back Row (l to r): Erik Shuetz, Kade McKie
Front Row (l to r): Owen Bartosh, Josh Martin, Leah Gonzalez, Clara Moriarty, Eric Terrones
Owen Bartosh, French Horn, Junior
This is Owen’s third year to be named an All-State musician. He is a drum major in the Spirit of Waxahachie and was a featured soloist in the band’s 2022 marching production. His class rank is 1, he serves as Class President, Copy Editor of The Arrow, competes on the UIL Debate and Journalism teams, and is involved in the broadcast media program and Interact. Owen also serves the community through his church, and he volunteers with the Miracle League, which is an organization that provides opportunities for children with special needs to play baseball. Owen currently plans to pursue political science and law after high school, with the eventual goal being to own a political consulting firm.
"To me, the All-State process is more than just competition. For a long time, I felt no joy in the performance, only nerves, and fear of failure. The TMEA experience changed that. Performing in front of thousands, I had never felt such pure delight in creating music without the usual shadow of anxiety. I simply played, and the horn made music. Getting to play with the best in the state changed my perspective on what music can be, and it helped me realize the potential that even mere teenagers have for crafting something truly beautiful."

Leah Gonzalez, Oboe, Senior
This is Leah’s third year being named an All-State musician. She is a drum major in the Spirit of Waxahachie and was a featured soloist in the band’s 2022 marching production. She is in the top 10 of her class, competes in academic UIL, and academic decathlon, and she’s involved in Interact, the National Honors Society, and the French National Honors Society. She plans to pursue a degree in computer science with her ultimate goal being software development in Silicon Valley.
"My relationship with oboe playing started off quite rocky. Until I failed at making Region Band in 8th grade, I had never put much thought into what I wanted from playing my instrument. After I spent my first years of high school replenishing my musical dignity, I realized that what made me happy was not my successes, but how I was able to finally make music. There are moments when I play, and I am able to forget everything else going on in the world because all I can focus on is the beauty coming from my horn and the beauty of being able to call myself a musician. I take pride in myself because I was able to discover what it means to fail, get back up again, succeed, and, most importantly, fall in love with a passion that I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

Josh Martin, French Horn, Junior
This is Josh’s first year to be named an All-State musician. He’s in the top 10 of his class, consistently offers time to serve his church, and also works regularly to pay for extracurricular activities like an upcoming trip abroad. Josh would like to pursue studies involving mathematics after high school with a particular interest in applied areas, such as physics or civil engineering.
“To me, All-State means that hard work pays off. At the beginning of the process this year, I set a goal for myself: I wanted to be an All-Stater. I made myself be at school to practice at 7:00 AM every morning no matter what time I went to bed, or what else I had going on between school, work, or time to myself. Despite how tough it got, I just kept pushing myself because I knew it would be worth it in the end.”

Kade McKie, Tenor Trombone, Junior
This is Kade’s first year to be named an All-State musician. He is a section leader in the Spirit of Waxahachie, serves as lead trombone in the Jazz Orchestra, and he's in the top 10% of his class. He enjoys playing recreational basketball in his free time and plans to develop and run a business with his brother after college at Texas A&M.
"I believe that playing the trombone initially taught me that I have to seek out what I want and can't just wait for it to come to me. I had to work hard to make All-State, and this process has made me realize that work ethic is so much more important than talent."

Clara Moriarty, English Horn, Senior, 1st Chair in the state!!!
This is Clara’s second year to be named an All-State musician. She is a section leader in the Spirit of Waxahachie and was a featured soloist in the band’s 2022 marching production. Her class rank is 3, she serves as Student Body Vice President, and she’s involved in Interact, National Honors Society, HOSA and is a small group leader for younger students at her church. Clara plans to major in biology next year, wants to be involved in cellular research while in college, and eventually wants to pursue a career in the medical field.
"I love school, but my time in the band, working on oboe and English horn, has taught me so many things beyond the actual classroom: time management, teamwork, how to have a detail-oriented work ethic, and, most of all, perseverance. I wouldn't be where I am today, with the same experiences or accomplishments, if band—and the All-State process, in particular—hadn't taught me how to get back up and push through my failures until I achieved my goals."

Erik Schuetz, French Horn, Sophomore
This is Erik’s first year to be named an All-State musician. He’s in the top 5% of his class and, after high school, would like to pursue studies in software engineering to facilitate a career as a programmer for a large tech company.
"My big takeaway this year is to map out your goals and envision that as you work each day. It helped me keep everything focused and in perspective."

Eric Terrones, Bass Clarinet, Junior, Alternate to State
Eric has just completed his second full year playing the bass clarinet and is excited to continue his musical journey so that he can claim the title of All-State musician next year. He wants to study nursing after high school and eventually become a traveling nurse.