Abilene ISD high school band, choir and orchestra students have been honored as 2019 Texas Music Scholars.

The award is given by the Texas Music Educators Association, which sponsors the Texas All-State Bands, Orchestras and Choirs.  Last year, approximately 2,300 students were named as Texas Music Scholars. This award is given to students who have exhibited outstanding qualities in scholastic merit, musicianship, and citizenship in their school and community during the 2018-2019 school year.

Abilene High band students earning this award were Olivia Marquez (flute), Jia Spangler (oboe), Nicholas Gonzalez, Nathaniel Hernandez, Karissa Ward, and Jada Williams (clarinet), Coleman Patterson (sax), Parker Fowlkes and Brooke Garduno (horn), Adrian Fowlkes (cornet/trumpet), Brian Lester (euphonium), and Gustavo Marquez (trombone).

Abilene High choir students earning this award were Molly Mercer, Jenna Stevens, Mackenzie Stevens (alto), Lauren Hampton, Mia Mirelez, Lindsay Rogers, and Macy Wallace (soprano), Harrison Smith (tenor), William Hampton (bass).

Abilene High orchestra students earning this award are Faith Fang and Andrew Fink (violin), Frank Fang and Dylan Mills (cello).

Cooper band students earning this award were Sonali Bhikha and Madison Warren (clarinet), Candace Foster Johnson and Sydney Nunn (sax), Cooper Naredo and Amanda Strickland (horn), Isaac Lock (trumpet), Jacob Moore (trombone), and Ronald Alexander and Ricardo Hinojosa (percussion).

Cooper choir students earning this award were Liliah Monroy and Baylee Schroedter (alto), Gabriella Crespo (soprano), Christopher Huerta and Jackson Young (bass).

Cooper orchestra student earning this award is Heeseo Yun (violin).

They were nominated for this honor by their directors, Jon Kraemer (AHS band), Clay Johnson (CHS band), Cara Naizer (CHS choir), Wendy Weeks (AHS choir), and Darcy Radcliffe (AHS and CHS orchestra).

The Texas Music Educators Association, headquartered in Austin, is an association of over 12,000 music teachers whose goals are to support music education in Texas, provide professional growth opportunities for educators, foster public support for music in schools, and offer quality musical experiences for students.

Art, Photography Students Qualify for State Recognition

Cooper High School and Abilene High School art and photography students participated in the state Visual Arts Scholastic Event competition held at San Marcos High School in San Marcos, Texas, on April 26-27, 2019. VASE is sponsored by the Texas Art Education Association.

This event begins with Regional Events scheduled during the month of February. The State of Texas is divided into 20 Education Regional Service Centers. These regions serve as the dividing boundaries for participation in regional events. Students are interviewed and their artworks are juried by certified TAEA jurors. A Rating IV is the mark of an exemplary work of art which qualifies the student to be entered in to the VASE Area Event. After the jury process is complete, artworks that qualify to participate proceed to the State Event.

Qualifying artworks are assessed by jurors from across the United States on Friday. On Saturday, students may participate in hands-on workshops, sketching opportunities, and compete for scholarship money. The event is intended to provide a forum for art teachers and students to meet and to grow artistically and personally.

Three students from AHS were selected for State with 2 attending: Sophomore Jordan Hernandez for Explore and sophomore Vivian Palomarez for Broken Society are students of April Rifenburg, and junior Ryley Lawler for Portrait is a student of Beth Joy

Five students from CHS school qualified for State with four attending.  Three students, taught by photography instructor Sherry Griffith, attended the contest.  Kaya Johnson, a senior, earned a Division 4 (the highest rank) and a State Medallion for My Cup of Tea. Juniors Kennedy Carmichael and Byrin Hollowell also attended with their qualifying works Synapsys and Color Wonders, respectively. The fourth student, Michaela Tuncap, taught by Melody Kennedy, also received a Division 4 for her work entitled Prey. Dylann Hedger, also taught by Melody Kennedy, qualified with Overthrown.

CHS Artist’s Work Places in Statewide Mental Health Awareness Creative Arts Contest

A Cooper High School art student placed second in the statewide 2019 Mental Health Awareness Creative Arts Contest.

Senior Amethyst Young, taught by Sherry Griffith, received 2nd place for her piece titled Vile is Not the One Who Endures It.  Amethyst’s work is featured in their online gallery and was publicly displayed in Austin from at the Texas State Capitol building. Later, it was moved to the Manchaco Road Branch of the Austin Public Library to be displayed through May 19.

The Children’s and Adults’ Mental Health Awareness Creative Arts Contest, started in 2012, shines a light on an often-overlooked topic and shows why mental health matters. This contest is held by Texas System of Care, Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Middle School Choir Students Compete in Solo Contest

Choir students from all four middle schools competed in the AISD Middle School Choir Solo Contest at Madison Middle School on April 23.

The following students earned a first division rating on their solo:

Clack Middle School:  Lilliana Garcia, Kyla Speights, Kylie Kovac, Aaricka Fullam, Isabella Ramirez, Elizabeth Gentry, Blessing Foster, Cami Ando, and Eliana Menjares.

Craig Middle School:  Elijah Tolar, Aiden Schwartz, Nathan Wilson, Alexis Barnes, Journey Guerrero, Alexa Lubanga, Shanna Smith, Carrie Mercer, Alan Mercer, Kassandra Pizarro, Ian Agustin, Khloe Mason, Martine Niwe, Jentry Bennett, Tarynn Bridge, Amelia Carr, Kaylie Enriquez, Gwen Hinderliter, Kynsie Hancock, Kelsie Patterson, Vicky Gao, Kaitlin Johnson, Nevaeh McGough, Morgan Anders, Shelby Anders, Mariska Marines, Joshua Thibault, Landon Morris, Jakob Enriquez, and Griffin Sullivan.

Madison Middle School:  Emily Martin, Shalom Mutombori, Jalissa Martinez, Brooklyn Knapp, Tinsley Ellison, Ava Quinones, Kyler Wheeler, Adison Hargrove, Seth Luna, Logan Olson, Emily Mitchell, Heather James, Ian Martin, Levi Bryan, Taylor Lancaster, Kadence Viel, Kaley Rutledge, and Dixie Hurtado.

Mann Middle School:  Ben Bredemeyer, Chloe Campos, Diego Castillo, Emily Coffman, Bradie Flores, Mariah Gaona, Abby Hernandez, Bailey Hinds, Shayden Levesque, Alana Marshall, Taylor Nevitt, Jayden Palacio, Mira Savage, MaKenna Simmons, Ana Vargas, and Amya Willams.

The students are under the direction of the following teachers:  Clack Middle School – Katherine Cotten; Craig Middle School – Lyndsey Ransford; Madison Middle School – Maddison Schwarz; and Mann Middle School – Ginnylou Murphey.