Going Beyond: Stories of Musical Success & ETSBOA

A fantastic opportunity opened up for students that play instruments- The East Tennessee School Band & Orchestra Association (ETSBOA) began open auditions on January 25 for those that prepared their music and scales.

Many students from Central readied themselves for these auditions and navigated their own aspirations, goals, and anxieties while preparing to meet the hard deadline.


Thanks to the Coronavirus, there won’t be an in-person audition process; this year, all auditions will be submitted via video file on the official website. An email sent by the band links each student’s submission code. Results are expected come the week of February 8. Due to the small acceptance pool, joining this organization can be a huge milestone for many, and a symbolic accomplishment to denote the successes of a great young musician. 


Band directors Alex Mink and Krista Kearney play a massive role in making this all come together for students; after school, they help kids learn scales and develop signature sounds that are unique to each student. Both directors have a admirable passion for teaching music and do so with a couple goals in mind; to see a pupil make All-East brings joy to them. For me personally, the directors have been a great help with the more convoluted and unfamiliar aspects of music- rhythm especially.


Among the many auditionees lies Tayte Belyea, a sophomore with a passion for jazz music and concert studies. In the band, he’s a leader in both social regard and playing his trumpet. Recently, Tayte submitted his recording for All-East Jazz, a similar audition within the realm of ETSBOA, and made the cut. Tayte said he was “very excited and happy” to continue playing music throughout his high school years, and looks to continue developing his free-improv skills.


Another player worth noting is Ian Myers, the sophomore section leader of the trombone section and a fantastic concert and jazz musician. Ian also placed in ETSBOA; for the past two years, he’s contributed a great amount to the Bobcat Band’s sound and continues to lead his section.

“For the All-East Jazz audition I’ve been practicing since September, and for the concert one, I’ve practiced since November, so a very long time,” Ian said, “I think I’ll be successful in both, I mean, I did the best that I could.” Myers also said that he practices up to two hours a day, and tries his best to make others proud. 


Other auditionees include Jack Myers, Devin Hopson, Ander Van Dyke, Nathan King, Matthew Mihalic, Allison Rogers, and myself, Jake Ensor. 

A lot of us at Central who play in some form of extracurricular activity find ourselves in this same boat. Trying out for something can be really scary, and intimidation alone often drives most people away. Here’s the takeaway from this, though: although these success stories come from talented students, the important virtue is their consistency. Truly, its the driving factor behind getting better, smarter, faster, or stronger at anything.

In all levels of life, whether it’s a new diet, developing study habits, or simply getting out of bed in the morning, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be consistent and honest with yourself. Get off the couch and get moving; walk the dog, practice your instrument, or go running. The goals you set for yourself aren’t going to achieve themselves. Consistency is a trait that carries on throughout many inveterate activities in life- and it’s how young musicians like these rise to the top of their class and go beyond.

If you want to hear a little bit of music, I’ve left Ian’s audition video below. Enjoy!


Read more from The Bobcat Times:

A look inside Central High School

Marching in RGB’s Footsteps

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