Greenhill Students in ATSSB All-State Band


Photo courtesy of Anagha Gouru

Senior Anagha Gouru, who plays the french horn for the Greenhill Band, is a returning member of the All-State Band this year.

Kaylee Wilson, Staff Writer

Four Upper School students have been selected for the 2021 Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) All-State Band.

Upper School band teacher Brian Donnell announced the names of the students who earned the honors: freshman Ayne Park as first chair flute; junior Katherine Li as second chair flute; junior Timmy Nadolsky as first chair bass clarinet; and senior Anagha Gouru as second chair French horn.

These students are all members of the Greenhill band and decided to take their experience and love of music to audition for the All-State Band.

Students went through a series of auditions, which required learning new music pieces specific to their instrument and creating recordings of them playing the music to submit to the ATSSB.

Junior Katherine Li, returning for her second year as a member of the All-State Band, says that the pandemic changed what auditioning for the band looked like.

“This year, because of COVID, we all had to audition virtually,” Li said. “So, we just recorded ourselves and then submitted that.”

Junior Timmy Nadolsky says the hard work put into auditions pays off when the band members get to attend a convention in San Antonio with musicians and artists from all over Texas.

“Being a part of any All-State Band is an honor because of the hard work required to make the band,” Nadolsky said. “Being part of this band somewhat gives a name and meaning to your achievement as an instrument player.”

All-state bands who attend the convention are from different schools ranging from sizes small to large. The Greenhill students are part of the 3A category of All-State Band, which is composed of smaller school students.

Under normal circumstances, each All-State Band would be given music to learn with their band over a series of day-long rehearsals. Each band would later perform the music they learned at the end of the weekend-long convention.

Senior Anagha Gouru, a returning member of the All-State Band this year, said the convention was her favorite part of being on the band when she was a sophomore.

“The convention was super cool,” Gouru said. “You get to meet really cool musicians from all over [the state].”

Gouru says that attendees get to try using the instruments on display.

Due to the pandemic, the convention that would normally take place in San Antonio has been postponed until June and moved to a new location, Melissa High School in Melissa, Texas. Although the gallery with instruments will not be a part of the convention this year, the hope is that bands will still be able to perform together.

When freshman Ayne Park was asked what made her want to audition for the All-State Band, she said it was the upper classmen who she’d seen enjoy their experiences being part of the band that encouraged her to join.

“Although the band and convention may be different than other years due to COVID, I can’t wait to experience it and be around the most talented musicians in Texas,” Park said.

Donnell also has high hopes that the event will still be able to take place, even if it is not in the traditional format.

“I hope that [the students] get to gather and be with a group of musicians that are that high-caliber, and that they get to rehearse and perform,” Donnell said.

The four Greenhill students who made the All-State Band this year are also hoping that they will have the chance to play at the convention in June and are looking forward to it.