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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fort Scott students make mark on state music scene

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bassist Davis Drake and cellist Michelle Buntain, both Fort Scott High School seniors, were selected to the the Kansas State Honor Orchestra. Drake also was selected to the Kansas State Honor Band and has opted to perform with the band.(Laurie Sisk/Tribune)
Several Fort Scott High School students are making their mark on the Kansas music scene after being named to elite musical groups by the Kansas Music Educators Association.

FSHS senior bassist Davis Drake is a two-time selection to the KMEA All-State Orchestra and also was selected to the KMEA All-State Band. Davis has opted to perform with the band. Fellow FSHS senior cellist Michelle Buntain also was selected to the KMEA All-State Orchestra.

FSHS Orchestra Director Cody Toll said Davis and Buntain are the only students on their respective instruments from a class 4-A school district to qualify for state honor groups.

From left, Jesse Guerrero, tenor, and Chris Allen, bass, have both been selected to the Kansas State Honor Choir. Josh Woolsey, not pictured, was the third selection from Fort Scott High School.Wyatt Stark was chosen as an alternate.(Laurie Sisk/Tribune)
"I am very proud of these students for the hard work they put into preparing for their auditions and persistence they've shown by auditioning year after year," Toll said. "The competition they face when auditioning for state is the toughest in Kansas, so it is truly a great honor to be selected."

According to the Kansas Music Educators website, students are selected to the All-State Orchestra and Band via a rigorous audition process that starts at the district level (KMEA is comprised of six districts). Students who perform at the district level are then eligible to audition for selection to the state ensembles. Thus, the All-State student musicians are truly "the best of the best."

Three FSHS vocal students also garnered all-state honors and will be blending their voices with some of the best in the state after being named to the KMEA All-State Choir.

FSHS senior tenor Jesse Guerrero, junior Bass Chris Allen and senior bass Josh Woolsey all were selected to the elite 256-member honor choir. Bass Wyatt Stark was selected as an alternate.

FSHS Choir Director Aaron Weatherbie said Woolsey has "continued a strong tradition of choral excellence," after being selected to the honor choir for the third straight year, the maximum amount of participation a student is allowed. Allen, a junior has made it both of his eligible years and Guerrero was selected after auditioning for the first time.

"These students show excellent leadership skills both in and out of class and deserve to join the finest that Kansas has to offer," Weatherbie said.

The All-State band, orchestra and choir will all perform Feb. 23 at the Century II Convention Center Concert Hall in Wichita during the KMEA annual in-service.

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