North East ISD middle school band performs on an international stage in Chicago


The San Antonio Tex Hill Middle School Honor Band is in Chicago to attend the Midwest Clinic, one of the world’s largest music education conferences, and performed at its international showcase on Thursday. .

The group’s 80 seventh and eighth graders, which include players who are now in first year at Johnson High School, recorded two tracks in the spring of 2020 and put them through a blind audition. He was judged against other college groups and invited to perform.

The clinic was canceled last year due to the pandemic, so this year’s trip made up for it. Tex Hill is in the Northeast Independent School District.

“It was an incredible feeling,” said Annabelle Hickerson, a first-year student at Johnson who plays bassoon, after the performance. “I watched my sister play here when she was in first grade and I never thought I would do it on my own. It was a really cool thing to do.

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The San Antonians performed 10 songs, including a song called “The Great Green Kazoo”, written by Carol Brittin Chambers, composer and former director of the group NEISD whose own children have previously performed in the group from Tex Hill.

“The Tex Hill Honors Band had a phenomenal performance,” said Philip Flynn, director of fine arts for the district’s music programs. “Music teachers from across the country filled the ballroom to watch these students perform music at the highest level. “

The clinic offers the opportunity for students to attend other shows and meet musicians.

“We got to talk with some of the composers, which was cool, to see how they like their pieces performed,” Hickerson said.

College students will also visit Chicago museums and attend a performance of the Chicago Symphony.

Julie Shore, NEISD Director of Fine Arts, called the trip a “unique and unique opportunity” for the students.

“To experience it in a new city, while being able to see the culture of that city and the history of this city is important,” she said.

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All of ISD’s after-school programs in the Northeast were hit hard during the pandemic, and some of the students who performed on Thursday had virtually started a beginner group, Flynn said.

“The teacher couldn’t get his hands on the instrument, couldn’t look well at his mouth, or what he was doing with his tongue or his teeth – all of those things, the mechanics that go into an instrument,” Flynn noted. “So this year the kids were eager to get together and play. “

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