Summit High sends trumpet player to all-state concert band |

Summit High sends trumpet player to all-state concert band

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Tess Olson is vying for the first seat in her part in the all-state concert band.

She has been accepted to be part of the 16-member trumpet section, but an audition April 7 will determine her seat for the rest of the weekend, which culminates with a live performance at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Olson’s been working on her music for the event since acceptance.

“I’d say she has a good chance of getting (first seat),” said Linda Shea, who’s in her first year as director of instrumental music at the high school. “She has great tone, good technique and knows how to prepare.”

The high school senior started playing the piano when she was 6 years old, and began playing the trumpet in sixth grade. She currently studies under a University of Colorado-Boulder trumpet professor, and plays in ensembles outside of school reaching clear to the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra’s symphony orchestra, where she’s in the wind ensemble. Born in Madison, Wisc., her family moved to Summit County when she was about 2 and she’s lived in Breckenridge ever since.

When she heads to Greeley for the all-state concert band weekend this year, she’ll be the only Summit High School student and will attend without a band director, which doesn’t really faze Olson because she’s been there before.

Shea said part of the reason more Summit High students aren’t going is because a previously planned band and orchestra trip to Europe conflicts with the all-state event. It’s also Shea’s first year in her position, so she’s working out the kinks and logistics of motivating students to take advantage of their opportunities.

“It’s very prestigious,” Shea said about being selected to all-state concert band. “It’s like going to state (competition) for golf. It’s pretty selective.”

Olson auditioned in early December with two solos – one lyrical and one technical – as well as knowledge of scales and sight reading. She also auditioned – and made it – her sophomore year. She wasn’t as lucky her junior year, when she had more commitments to juggle.

“I’ve done it before, so it wasn’t too nerve-wracking,” she said about the audition. “But you still get nervous and hope you’ve prepped enough.”

She said the junior year lull put her on the edge of her seat as she prepared this year, but she poured her energy not only into preparing for the all-state audition, but also for her college auditions.

She starts a set of three college auditions this weekend with her first choice – University of Colorado in Boulder. That’s followed up by University of Colorado-Denver and Colorado State University.

“I’m definitely nervous for (this weekend),” Olson said, though her audition pieces have been in her repertoire for about two years. “I know them well, but you hope you know them well enough.”

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