By Chris Edwards
One Warren High School sophomore recently received news that she’d been named to the highest honor that a music student in the state can receive.
Julia Drake, who has been active in the Warriors’ band program through her high school career thus far, and has earned numerous honors already, was named to the All-State Band. She will get to perform at the All-State concert on Saturday, Feb. 12, in San Antonio. Drake, who plays French Horn, will perform at the event, which takes place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as part of the annual Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention.
Drake, who is the daughter of Jason Drake and Kristina Wiedman, who are both educators, was selected to be a part of the band through a series of auditions. According to a news release from the TMEA, the process begins with 70,000 students from across the state, each vying for the honor to be chosen to perform in one of the 18 ensembles.
This year’s TMEA event will be the first in-person convention since 2020, and the theme will be for the participants to enjoy “Celebrating Music Together.”
Drake, under the direction of WHS band director Russell Hopkins, has achieved several musical honors prior to the All-State nod. She was named second chair in the All-Region Wind Ensemble and was also named the top-ranking French Horn player in the 3A audition track.
Along with those honors, Drake has been. Named to the All-Region Band as a junior high student twice; All-Region for two years of high school and was a two-time Area Band qualifier. She also takes lessons from Dr. Rusty Holmes, a Warren alumnus, himself.
TMEA noted that only the top 2.6% of musicians who audition become All-State musicians.