James Clemens band students claimed 17 seats and three alternate slots in both district and all-state bands. (CONTRIBUTED)
James Clemens band students claimed 17 seats and three alternate slots in both district and all-state bands. (CONTRIBUTED)

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James Clemens musicians claim seat in district, all-state bands

Published 3:15pm Thursday, February 14, 2013

MADISON – Band members at James Clemens High School earned the honor to play challenging music with their peers, the state’s most talented instrumentalists.

During recent auditions, three band students from James Clemens claimed their seats in the Alabama All-State Band. Three others were asked to serve as alternates. Sparkman High School hosted the auditions in January.

In addition, auditions by 14 students convinced judges to place them in the District 1 Honor Band. District 1 includes Madison, Morgan and Limestone counties.

James Clemens students in the All-State Band are Jon Elgan, red band, bassoon; Austin Bartlett, blue band, baritone; and Sarah DeFalco, junior high band, flute. Students earning a place as alternates are Cindy Ratkovich, clarinet; Jesse Hartfield, alto saxophone; and Dustin Dykes, trumpet.

These students will perform at the 2013 Alabama All-State Band Festival on April 18-20 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.

The 2013 District One Honor Band Festival was held at Bob Jones High School on Feb. 8-9.

James Clemens students in the district band were flutists Heather Perkinson, Olivia Johnston and Sarah DeFalco; clarinetists Cindy Ratkovich and Ho Jung Yang; bassoonist Jon Elgan; alto saxophonists Jesse Hartfield and Chris Kegley; trumpeters Dustin Dykes and Eric Bean; French horn players Kathryn Bradley and Maggie White; baritone player Austin Bartlett; tuba player Ethan Rakoff; and percussionists Heidi Morgan and Emily Ong.

At auditions, the band members were required to play any possible musical scale selected at the judges’ discretion, two prepared exercises and sight-reading, or playing a short piece of music that they had never rehearsed.

As their band director, Anderson was pleased with his students’ showing at these auditions. “I am very proud of how well these students represented James Clemens High School,” Anderson said.

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