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In a good year, Big Spring High School places one or two students in the all-state band.
What do you say about this year, then?
Four Steer Band members â€” a number that is a modern record, to say the least â€” have been selected to the Class 3A and Below All-State Band.
â€śThat's the most we've had since I've been here,â€ť said BSHS Band Director Rocky Harris, who has led the program for almost 15 years. â€śAnd it may be the most we've ever had.â€ť
Junior oboe player Catherine Harris, sophomore trombonist Nick Conner, junior baritone player Kenan Lewis and senior tuba player Chris Nunez were named to the all-state band, which will perform at the Texas Music Educators Association state convention next month in San Antonio.
â€śThey're very talented and a joy to work with,â€ť Rocky Harris said of the group. â€śYou combine talent, a good attitude and the willingness to work hard, that makes for some good kids.â€ť
He has a personal connection with one of the honorees â€” Catherine is his daughter.
â€śTo see my dad's reaction when I made all-state was great,â€ť she said. â€śHe's my biggest mentor and he said he was very proud of me.â€ť
For Catherine, making the all-state band was also a matter of some sweet revenge.
â€śThere was a lot of pressure,â€ť she said. â€śThey only take one oboe player from this area, and I was selected over the guy who beat me out last year.â€ť
Conner is getting to be an old hand at this all-state band thing â€” this is the second straight year for him to be selected. That doesn't mean, however, that making the group was any easier the second time around.
â€śIf anything, it was more difficult this time,â€ť he said. â€śI already knew the competition I'd face, so I knew I had to work even harder this year to make all-state.â€ť
And earning the honor is definitely not getting boring, he added.
â€śI had the same reaction, pretty much,â€ť Conner said. â€śIt was very, very exciting.â€ť
Lewis said his selection came as a very nice surprise.
â€śI really didn't feel good about my tryout,â€ť he said. â€śYou could hear the other (students) as they performed â€¦ and they were pretty good. I was really excited when I learned that I had made it.â€ť
Nunez pulls extra-curricular double duty at BSHS â€” aside from performing in the band, he also was a key member of this year's football team.
â€śYou definitely have to manage your time,â€ť he said of his various commitments. â€śIt can get pretty tough. You just have to make sure you dedicate the time you need for certain things.â€ť
Being named to the all-state band was something of a shock, he recalled.
â€śI didn't even come close to area tryouts last year, so this year was kind of a surprise,â€ť Nunez said. â€śI was sitting at a table after my tryout and (Conner) came over and tackled me when he found out. It was a pretty good feeling.â€ť