Two orchestra members named All-State performers


Yunseo Jo

Senior Kejuan Thompson and junior Lauren Ahn sit with their viola and violin. They will attend the 2022 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) convention in San Antonio in February.

Junior violinist Lauren Ahn and senior violist Ke’Juan Thompson were named performers of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Orchestra. 

“I’m extremely proud of them and impressed with the work they had to do to be acknowledged [at the state level],” orchestra director Matthew Cautivar said. “All orchestra students are hardworking, but the extra level of commitment that [Ahn and Thompson] showed is admirable.” 

According to the TMEA, approximately 1,800 musicians out of 70,000 band, choir and orchestra members audition to make one of the state ensembles. Preparation began at the end of last school year for orchestra students, when TMEA released the audition music in May. The first round of auditions for the All-Region orchestra were on Oct.16; select students advanced to the area level where top players from the region auditioned for All-State. When audition results were announced on Nov. 16, Ahn and Thompson said they were surprised yet satisfied with their audition results. 

“I made it last year, and I knew it was possible to do it again this year,” Ahn said. “I’m looking forward to attending the TMEA convention and meeting other performers in the state.”

For Thompson, he knew he had to prioritize practicing if he wanted to attend the All-State convention in his senior year. He attributes his success to timely sacrifices that he made to see his results.

“Going for state is a [time-consuming] experience, so I had to cut things out of my life,” Thompson said. “I left my job for a month just to practice, and I was practicing about four hours a day leading up to the audition.”

Both Ahn and Thompson plan on pursuing music performance after high school. Attending the annual 2022 TMEA convention in February will allow both of them to learn from skilled clinicians and perform a concert at the end of the convention.

“The best part [of orchestra] is the people that I get to perform with,” Thompson said. “[Attending the TMEA convention] will [allow me to] meet so many different people and learn with them.” 

Cautivar said since all music programs offered at Hebron have high expectations for students making All-State, he hopes that Ahn and Thompson are proud of their hard work.

“Since we have successful students across orchestra, band and choir, each individual student shouldn’t take their hard work for granted,” Cautivar said. “[Ahn] practices an innumerable amount and [Thompson] sacrificed a lot of his time to give his best shot. We are lucky to have them in the Hebron orchestra.”