Conway Comes Out Strong at All-Region Band Tryouts



Mason Davis is seen beside Jack Starnes in this photo at All Region tryouts.

Owen Starnes, Staff Writer

On Saturday, January 14, 2023, Conway High School hosted the annual Region IX Senior High All-Region tryouts. Conway band students had a successful tryout year, with around sixty making All-Region (excluding alternates). Over twenty qualified for All-State. Those who are placed as alternates at the All-Region tryouts have the chance to participate in one of the two senior high bands if other students cannot attend.

The All-Region clinics will be held on Friday and Saturday, January 20th and 21st, 2023. The senior high second band will perform at 3:00 pm on Saturday and the first band at 3:30 pm. The Conway High School band plans to leave at 11:40 am on Friday but may have to leave in the morning, as there may not be enough bus drivers for both junior and senior high bands to leave at the same time.

Tuba player Drew Williams was one of the handfuls of Conway band students to place first chair, first band. When asked how receiving first chair felt, he said, “Well, to start off it was a huge relief. When the cuts were first posted I was nervous because I was not fully prepared for the material. In the actual audition, I messed up a lot on my scales so for the entire time up to the results being posted I had already prepared for a lower chair, but it ended up great and I’m happy with the outcome, [and] I’m going to better at All-State.” Tenor saxophone player Jackson Starnes was another Conway band student who placed first chair, first band at the All-Region tryouts. He even earned this spot as a sophomore. On the experience, he said, “It feels good to know that I’m already as good as I am and that I have two more years to get even better.” Tenor saxophone player Mason Davis received second chair, first band. In regards to getting second chair, he said, “Honestly, I was pretty stoked. [I was] disappointed I didn’t get first chair, but I can settle for second best.”

Out of all sections, the most “Conway-filled” is first band percussion. Eight of the twelve percussionists in the section are Conway band students. In fact, the top six spots are all percussionists from Conway.

Over twenty Conway band students qualified for All-State. The All-State tryouts will be held at the University of Central Arkansas on February 4th, 2023. Those who qualified for All-State also have the opportunity to try out for All-State orchestra (if their instruments meet the orchestra criteria).