This past week, ASMS had four students audition for Alabama’s All-State Band. For the first time in the school’s history, all ASMS students who auditioned qualified. About 1000 students from across the state of Alabama auditioned for 62 available spots. The following ASMS students will join the Alabama All-State Band:

  • Samantha Jerry of Baldwin County: Oboe Top Score
  • Cary Xiao of Tuscaloosa County: Bari Sax Top Score
  • Silas Burch of Baldwin County: Red Band
  • Hannah Vaccaro of Mobile County: Blue Band

Auditioning for the All-State band is an extensive process that requires learning 12 major scales, two prepared pieces, and to demonstrate proficiency in sight reading. After their selection, students perform with other talented musicians from across Alabama on behalf of the Alabama Music Educators Association.

Practice techniques varied for each student. Sophomore Samantha Jerry took advantage of her flexible schedule at ASMS to find more time to practice. As a former member of the marching band at Spanish Fort High School, she prefers the orchestra set-up at ASMS. “My main instrument [the oboe] does not march in the field… now I only need to play one instrument,” she states. She hopes to continue pursuing music beyond education through participation in orchestras in the future.

Junior Silas Burch qualified for the Red Band for the French horn. Similar to Jerry, Burch enjoys the ability to focus on one instrument. “I loved the people in marching band but hated [the] mellophone, so I am happy that I no longer have to play such a terrible instrument,” he states. Although he misses his former band at Fairhope High School in Baldwin County, Burch has come to love his bandmates at ASMS. He hopes to continue his music career in college while pursuing a degree in engineering.

For more information about the Alabama All-State Band and the Alabama Music Educators Association, please visit

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