Ten talented members of Denison High School’s award-winning band have been named Texas Music Scholars, one of the state’s most prestigious awards that recognizes students who are musically and academically gifted, as well as actively involved in their school and community.
Denison’s 2021 esteemed Texas Music Scholars are: David Ariza – 11th grade French Horn, Kayden Bryant – 12th grade Trumpet, Gavin Dunaway – 10th grade Trumpet, Axton Grams – 11th grade Trumpet, Sean Hively, 10th grade Euphonium, Rose Brown – 11th grade Percussion, John Dornstadter – 11th grade Alto Saxophone, Michael Golston – 9th grade Bb Clarinet, Madison Griffis – 9th grade Tenor Trombone, and Luke Sparlin – 11th grade Trumpet.
Hundreds of hours of music practice, academic study and school/community service contributed to ten DHS band students being named Texas Music Scholars, one of the state’s most prestigious honors awarded to musically and academically gifted students who serve their school and community. Two of the students, 11th graders Luke Sparlin (front) and David Ariza, were also named to the Texas Music Educators Association’s prestigious All-State Band earlier this year.
The DHS honorees were nominated for this honor by Band Director, Melissa Lewis. The award is given by the Texas Music Educators Association which sponsors the Texas All-State Bands, Orchestras and Choirs. Two of the 11th graders, David Ariza and Luke Sparlin, were also named to the Texas Music Educators Association’s prestigious All-State Band earlier this year.
“Last year, fewer than 2,500 students statewide were named Texas Music Scholars,” said Lewis. “This is an incredible honor, and I am so proud of these students.”
According to Lewis, the students receiving this award are all members of the varsity Wind Ensemble. In addition to playing collegiate level literature in their daily band class, each student qualified for this award by making a TMEA All Region Band and playing a solo for public performance.
Denison High School’s 2021 esteemed Texas Music Scholars, from left, are: front row – Michael Golston, Kayden Bryant, David Ariza and Sean Hively; back row – Gavin Dunaway, Luke Sparlin, Axton Grams, John Dornstadter and Madison Griffs. Not pictured is Rose Brown. “This high honor is awarded to students who have exhibited outstanding qualities in three key areas: scholastic merit, musicianship, and citizenship in their school and community,” said Melissa Lewis, DHS Band Director. “This is an incredible honor, and I am so proud of these students.”
“These students are also very high achieving in their academic classes and regularly enroll in honors, AP and dual credit courses,” said Lewis. “In fact, many of the students in this group are in the top 5% of their graduating class, including a current top contender for Valedictorian of the Class of 2022. These students are actively involved in their community and school, including participation in such service organizations and clubs as DenTeens, Greater North Texas Youth Orchestra, Interact Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, DHS Student Council, and the Tri M Music Honor Society.”
The award is given to students who have exhibited outstanding qualities in three key areas: scholastic merit and achievement, musicianship, and citizenship in their schools and communities during the 2020-2021 school year. The Texas Music Educators Association, headquartered in Austin, is comprised of over 13,000 music teachers whose goals are to support music education in Texas, provide professional growth opportunities for educators, foster public support for music in schools, and offer quality musical experiences for students.