Veterans Memorial High School has two band students, Rodrigo Barrera (Horn) and Laura Barba (Flute), that received 5A All-State honors from the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). They will be performing with the All-State Band made up of other members from throughout the state that received the same honor. They are set to perform at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on February 16, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. Rodrigo Barrera is the son of Graciela Barrera and Juan Barrera. Laura Barba is the daughter of Sandra Ballardo and Jesus Barba.

Barrera and Barba were chosen for this prestigious honor by going through a very competitive process held throughout the year. They competed against hundreds of students in various competitions such as at Region, Pre-Area, and Area. There is a total of 33 Regions and 8 areas.

throughout the state and each region goes through this process to select their All State Band members.

Before they received state honors they had to compete at the TMEA Area G auditions in Corpus Christi on January 12th with six of their band members. This is the first time that many advance to Area and the first time two have earned TMEA 5A All-State honors. The students spent the whole day performing three professional level etudes in a blind audition.

“I am proud to say that out of the six students two were selected to advance to the TMEA 5A All-State Band and it is also the first time we have this many advance to state,” states Guillermo De la Cruz, VMHS Band Director. “This is the highest title that can be earned by a high school band student.”

Three other students placed as alternates in their sections at the Area G competition and they are Brandon Salinas (Trumpet), Damian Gonzalez (Euphonium), and Juan Mercado (Bassoon). In addition, one student Daniel Martinez (Clarinet) placed 8 out of 30. These students have been working hard since August perfecting these etudes and overcoming the obstacles these pieces may present.

All-State students participate in three days of rehearsals during the TMEA Clinic/Convention and directed by nationally recognized conductors. TMEA is the organization that sponsors the Texas All State competition and only the top 2.6% of musicians that initially audition become All-State musicians.

The Veterans Memorial High School Band is under the direction of Guillermo De la Cruz, Isacc Vasquez, Gabriel Molina, and Isai Reyes.