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Matthew Allen: Musical Genius

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Matthew Allen: Musical Genius

Photo by Robert Cameron

Photo by Robert Cameron

Photo by Robert Cameron

Leah Mock, Author

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After rehearsing non-stop for two days, senior Matthew Allen sits behind his music stand in the Lila Cockerell Theatre among over 100 of the best student musicians in the state of Texas. Band Director Robert Carnochan walks on stage, prompting the students to rise briefly. The crowd greets the symphony with applause. Carnochan signals the students to sit and Allen raises his euphonium to his lips to begin playing. The music fills the auditorium.

Allen ranked first in the Region 9 5A Symphonic Band auditions and advanced to the Area auditions, where he again ranked first and made All-State Band. On Thurs., Feb. 14, he proceeded to make first chair euphonium in the 5A All-State Symphonic Band.

“When I left for San Antonio that morning, I thought I was going to do terrible because I got sick beforehand, and I didn’t have time to practice,” Allen said. “My results were delayed for two hours because the judges were discussing. I was surprised and excited when I found out about the results.”

Upon arrival, Matthew Allen had only excerpts of the All-State music. During rehearsal, the students received the full scores and rehearsed “Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka, “His Honor” by Henry Fillmore, “Mountain Lake Photograph” by Zack Stanton and “The Passing Bell” by Warren Benson.

“‘Give Us This Day’ was my favorite,” Allen said. “I had a solo in the first movement, and I like Maslanka’s compositions.”

Allen, who started on tenor trombone in sixth grade, was selected to play euphonium by the end of his sixth grade year. He has been taking private lessons during the school year and during the summer with Mr. Inocencio Garcia ever since.

“Going from a beginner to the best 5A euphonium player in the state is substantial progress,” Garcia said. “When you see the kind of drive in someone as I have seen in Matthew, you just know that the determination he exhibited in junior high would drive him to the top.”

Allen said he has been practicing every day for as long as he can remember. He begins by warming up for 10 to 20 minutes.

“I typically sit down and practice for an hour per session, but sometimes I practice for 2 or 3 hours in separate sessions,” Allen said. “I can practice the most on weekends. I have a lot less time during the week.”

In addition to the time he sets aside to practice, Allen is taking six AP classes this year. He is on the Academic Decathlon team and competes in UIL Science and Mathematics. He also participates in marching band in the fall.

“He’s really talented, and he works extremely hard academically and musically,” freshman and trumpet player Hudson Roffey said. “I definitely look up to him.”

This isn’t the first of Allen’s accomplishments. Allen has advanced to State Solo and Ensemble 4 years in a row. On trombone, he made Region Jazz three times, Region Orchestra two times, Region Band once and Area once. On euphonium, Allen also made Region Band three times and advanced to Area twice.

“I am excited that Matthew got to participate in the experiences he has had through music education,” Garcia said. “His hard work and dedication to self improvement on euphonium were crucial to his achievements. I fully expect Matthew to rise to the top in anything he immerses himself in.”

About the Writer
Leah Mock, Staff

Leah is a senior who plans to study English Literature at Southwestern University. She is excited about her first year on the newspaper staff. Leah competes...

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Matthew Allen: Musical Genius