34 Canyon ISD students selected as all-state musicians

VIDEO: CISD sees great success in fine arts departments with 34 All-State musicians
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:25 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:58 PM CST
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CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - Canyon Independent School District’s fine arts department has seen great success over the years, and now over 30 high school students will perform at the all-state concert in San Antonio.

“This is the highest possible achievement a student can get in band choir orchestra in the state of Texas,” says Eric Rath, director of bands at Canyon High School.

The directors spoke about the school’s growth.

“The growth we’ve had thus far this program very small, but the growth we’ve had both in our successes and with the all-state process has been incredible in the 20 years that I’ve been here at Canyon High School,” says Brandon Ferron, choir director at Canyon High School.

This year, 11 choir students and 9 band students enrolled at Canyon High made all-state.

“Well, we compete against other schools. So usually, we compete against each other in the same school, but it’s a big deal because we’re going outside of our school, outside of our area, region to compete against other schools and we were chosen as the top players in the whole state. So that makes it a really big deal,” says Daniel Bliss, senior trombonist in the Canyon High School Band.

Another musician spoke on what this means for them.

“It’s something special, whether it be like the kind of kids that are there or the directors that help us. It’s just something you don’t usually get,” says Trace Thomas, sophomore baritone singer in the Canyon High School Choir.

Only 2.6 percent of musicians who initially audition become all-state musicians.

“The fine arts programs are really awesome in Texas and I feel like that’s overlooked about how much they exceed, especially here especially the band programs or choir programs. Our choir program in Canyon is like one of the best in the state. It’s incredible how good they do over there,” says Bliss.

Ferron says they’re really proud of not the Canyon High musicians and what they’ve done with their band, choir and all-state, but also CISD’s incredible fine arts program — all the way through the entire district.

“34, all staters from three different high schools, and that’s band and choir across all of these schools. That’s just a tribute to the support we get from upper level administration and locally at the high school level too, we couldn’t do this without that. So 34 that’s huge for any school district, much less little Canyon,” says Ferron.

On average, the fine arts students put in anywhere from five to 10 hours a week in their craft to be ready enough to make all-state.

“Funny story, I actually started eating like lunch on campus just so I could get an extra time for the process. I would make it to morning sectionals, come in during activity I’d come in during lunch. I do some work after school,” says Zara Salazar, senior alto singer in the Canyon High School Choir.

And the work they put in doesn’t go unnoticed.

“It’s definitely a commitment. Every week I’ll have like sessions where I’ll be practicing for like maybe one to two hours and then I’ll just keep doing that over and over again,” says Grace Vareed, junior alto singer in the Canyon High School Choir.

The students will be headed to San Antonio to play in concert on the weekend of Feb. 11.