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Bob Jones secures 8 ‘chairs’ in both District, All-State Bands

Note: Lenora Lee, a writer with “Patriot Pages,” researched material for the original article. (

MADISON – Different prerequisites and unknown procedures didn’t slow the pace for state and district honors for members of Bob Jones High Band.

Overriding the drawbacks of virtual auditions, eight band members earned a ‘chair’ in both the District Honor Band and the Alabama All-State Band for 2021. Constraints in personal interaction from COVID-19 caused the musicians to audition by recording their performance instead of playing in person for a panel of judges.

These eight students qualified as members of the 2021 All-State Band:

* Katerina Fedoseyev — Blue Band, flute.

* Sydney Truesdail — Unassigned band, oboe.

* Hayden Purser — Red Band, clarinet.

* Elaine Bao — Blue Band, clarinet.

* Liz Robertson- – Unassigned band, contrabass clarinet.

* Jacob Johnston — Unassigned band, baritone sax.

* Anna Digges — Red Band, trumpet.

* Chase Smith – Alternate, trombone.

The 2021 District Honor Band includes these eight musicians from Bob Jones. Students in ‘first chair’ are considered the best performer for that particular instrument:

* Katerina Fedoseyev – Sixth chair, flute.

* Sydney Truesdail – Second chair, oboe.

* Hayden Purser – First chair, clarinet.

* Elaine Bao – Ninth chair, clarinet.

* Liz Robertson – First chair, contrabass clarinet.

* Jacob Johnston – First chair, baritone saxophone.

* Anna Digges – Second chair, trumpet.

* Chase Smith – Seventh chair, trombone.

“District 1 (which includes Bob Jones) is one of the most competitive districts in the entire state, containing some of the largest and most active band programs,” Bob Jones Band Director Leigh Thomas said. “To be chosen for District Honor Band here is a huge deal, and furthermore to be chosen for All-State Band is about the highest achievement a student can earn in high school.”

The band members’ achievement “is a 100-percent reflection on the kids and their hard work. Most, if not all, of the preparation is on them,” Thomas said.

Sydney Truesdail, who plays oboe, decided to audition for All-State “because it’s always been a goal for me to compete against the best of the best in the state and get to perform with other great performers around the state.”

“It is unclear if All-State will be in-person or virtual in April, but the Alabama Bandmasters Association is committed to making the event happen in some capacity. I’m one proud teacher,” Thomas said.


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