Band Makes Region High at All Region Jazz Auditions

Jared Hyman, Photographer/Videographer

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  • Aaron Slack ’20 and Jason Sato ’21 pay a duet in front of a crowd while they were waiting for results. Both Sato and Slack would get first chair and advance to the Area Jazz Band Auditions.

  • Eager to see their placements, the trombones gather around the results after they are revealed. Aaron Slack ’20 received 1st chair and Lyle Moss ’20 and John Kangos ’21 received 4th and 5th chair respectively.

  • Head Band Director Mr Thomas Turpin, poses with Lyle Moss ’20, John Kangos ’21, Jason Sato ’21, and Kyle Le ’22 after the audition. Mr. Turpin judged the trombone audition room where Sato, Moss, and Kangos auditioned in.

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On the morning of September 21, seven band students participated in the audition process at the All Region Jazz Auditions at John B. Conally High School in Pflugerville. Four of them advanced to the Area Jazz Auditions for a chance to go to the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All State Jazz Convention in San Antonio, which was a region high. 

The seven students that auditioned are listed below by instrument.


Aaron Slack ’20 (advanced)

Lyle Moss ’20

John Kangos ’21

Bass Trombone:

Jason Sato ’21 (advanced)

 Alexander Nutticelli ’21

Alto Saxophone:

Sho Humphries ’21 (advanced)

Tenor Saxophone:

Kyle Le ’22 (advanced)

Out of the four that advanced, Slack, Sato, and Le got top honors in their room by receiving first chair. It was particularly special for Le since he normally plays the alto sax and picked up a tenor sax for the first time specifically for the audition.

“It was [a] hard decision, but I decided I wanted to try something different for the audition,” Le said. ‘I always loved the jazz sound of a tenor and have always wanted to try playing it. I wanted to challenge myself a little extra, and I’m super happy with the result. Just a little more work now to reach my goal.”

 The jazz auditions and normal classical auditions are two completely different processes. In jazz, you have two play three etudes, one swing, one blues, and one rock, and an improvised solo, while in classical, you play the three etudes. The style of the two are also completely different, with jazz giving the player more stylistic freedom and obviously: the jazz feel.

“With classical music, you really have to be more in the box and play what’s on the page,” Slack said. “With jazz auditions, you can really go out and create your own style, and that style is what differentiates you from everyone else at the audition.”

Westwood had the best audition results out of any school that went, with four advancing to area, and two area alternates which mean they are players who were one off of advancing.

“I’m really happy about the results from today,” Sato said. “I was really hoping for a Westwood sweep (in bass trombone) but we were so close. I know everyone else did amazing, and I’m super excited for everyone who advanced.”

 The next round of auditions will take place at the Area D Jazz Auditions, time and place still to be decided.