Each year in September, band students from across the state audition for the opportunity to be a part of one of the Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) All-State Concert Bands or Jazz Band. This past September, Anna High School student Dylan Stepherson attempted something that had never been done before.
Stepherson had already placed first chair in the ATSSB All-State Jazz band on both the baritone saxophone and tenor saxophone. This year his goal was to make first chair on the alto saxophone, accomplishing a feat that had never been done in the history of the ATSSB organization, which was established in 1991.
Stepherson placed first chair on all three saxophones at the region level and the first chair player gets to do a recording to submit for the audition for the All-State Jazz Band. Stepherson recorded, submitted and did the very thing he set out to accomplish — placing first chair in the entire state on the alto saxophone. This makes Stepherson the first student ever to place first chair on alto, tenor and baritone saxophone in the ATSSB All-State Jazz Band.
“Dylan is the hardest working student I’ve known in my eleven years teaching,” said Band Director Justin Wallis. “This accomplishment just shows what an incredible musician Dylan has become over the last seven years, and what amazing things students can achieve by working hard!”
The ATSSB All-State Jazz Band concert will be held on Feb. 17 in San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.