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DHS musicians make All-Region Band

DHS band musicians Dakota Cole and Maxwell Perez recently achieved two of UIL’s highest band honors: coveted spots on Region 25’s All Region Band, along with the right to compete in the first round of auditions for Texas’ prestigious All-State Band. “The All-Region auditions took place in early December in McKinney with over 1,000 high school band students competing for spots in one of only three All-Region Bands,” said DHS Band Director Jackie Deen. “The competition also kick-started the All-State Band audition process…which is highly competitive, requiring countless hours of preparation on the three pieces of music for each instrument. We are very proud of how well all of our students performed.” According to Deen, Maxwell Perez is a senior euphonium player who sits first Chair in the DHS Wind Ensemble. He has also performed as drum major for the Touch of Gold Marching Band and has made it to the State Solo and Ensemble Contest multiple times throughout his musical career. Dakota Cole, a DHS senior tenor saxophone player, serves as leader of the Saxophone section, is lead tenor in the Jazz Ensemble, has advanced to the State Solo and Ensemble multiple times, and sits first chair alto in the Wind Ensemble. “Dakota and Maxwell are both great examples for our other students to follow, showing that hard work and practice pay off,” said Deen. “They both have taken advantage of our Thelma Braun Foundation Band Scholarship Program which helps students get private lessons to improve and grow their talents. Both young men also plan to continue playing at the collegiate level, Maxwell at Texas A&

Dakota Cole and Maxwell Perez picture

M Commerce, and Dakota at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The Braun Scholarships have been such a blessing to our students, opening doors and career opportunities that otherwise might be limited. We’re just so grateful for Braun’s extremely generous and gracious support.” Another student, sophomore trombonist Joshua Deen, garnered a first alternate spot in the trombone section of the All-Region band. “We have the best kids, with the best work ethics,” said Deen. “This contest happens during marching band season, which makes finding time to practice the music much harder. Mr. Onspaugh (DISD Coordinator of Instrumental Music) and I are in awe of the dedication and hard work these kids put in. Our next big event will be the rigorous Solo and Ensemble Contest in February. We have a lot of kids signed up, and we expect great results. We’re all just extremely proud of these students and the positive recognition they have brought to our school, our music department and our entire community.”

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