BJHS Band Students Chosen for All-State and District!


Lenora Lee, Writer

Once again, our BJHS band members have achieved new goals for the 2020-2021 year. Even with the hindrances of COVID-19, eight musically-talented and prestigious students took on the virtual challenges of practicing/auditioning and were honorably chosen for Alabama All-State or District, or both:


Katerina Fedoseyev- Blue Band Flute

Sydney Truesdail- Unassigned Oboe

Hayden Purser- Red Band Clarinet

Elaine Bao- Blue Band Clarinet

Liz Robertson- Unassigned Contrabass Clarinet

Jacob Johnston- Unassigned Bari Sax

Anna Digges- Red Band Trumpet

Chase Smith- Trombone Alternate


Katerina Fedoseyev- 6th chair Flute

Sydney Truesdail- 2nd chair Oboe

Hayden Purser- 1st chair Clarinet

Elaine Bao- 9th chair Clarinet

Liz Robertson- 1st chair Contrabass Clarinet

Jacob Johnston- 1st chair Bari Sax

Anna Digges- 2nd chair Trumpet

Chase Smith- 7th chair Trombone

BJHS’s beloved band director, Ms. Leigh Thomas, emphasized that “District 1 is one of the most competitive districts in the entire state, containing some of the largest and most active band programs” and that “to be chosen for district honor band here is a huge deal, and furthermore to be chosen for all-state is about the highest achievement a student can earn in high school.” She highlighted that she was extremely proud of the seven students that made All-State and the eight that made District asserting that “This is a 100% a reflection on the kids and their hard work. Most if not all of the preparation is on them”.  

When Sydney Truesdail (Chosen for Oboe in All-State and District) was asked why she chose to audition, she exemplified “I chose to do All-State because it’s always been a goal for me to compete against the best of the best in the state and get to perform with other great performers around the state.” She also explained that due to the consequences of COVID-19, “We can’t compete in person at MPA or compete in other musical competitions. In addition, for the All-State application process, we had to submit everything online instead of in person.” 

Although COVID-19 has made the past few months tough for the BJHS Band, their music still shines through their skill and the hope for a better tomorrow. In the ending remarks of Ms. Thomas, “It is unclear if All-State will be in-person or virtual in April, but the Alabama Bandmasters Association is committed to making the event happen in some capacity. I’m one proud teacher!”.