Farias plays oboe, Diaz the clarinet

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

For two Alice High School band students, being chosen for the All-State Band is like winning the Super Bowl and the World Series at the same time.

Although there are no celebratory ticker-tape parades or gold rings, these girls can walk away at the end of this week with a feeling of great accomplishment thanks to years of hard work and great sacrifice, instructors say.

Both senior clarinet player Trisha Diaz and sophomore oboe player Jullianna Farias have earned spots with the best in Texas and will travel this week to practice and perform in the Texas All-State Band.

"The Texas All-State process is perhaps the most difficult in the country. District Region and Area Competition took place here at Alice High School, and included students from as far away as Houston to the Rio Grande Valley," AHS Band Director Bryan Herring said

First-time participant Farias said the time and effort it took to get to this point was very demanding. She developed a schedule, which helped her to get to where she wanted for competiiton.

"This is basically what everybody works for, and to know you made it, it's just really rewarding," Farias said. "With the oboe, I'm able to express myself, I find it easy with my instrument."

Confident in her abilities, Farias sees next year's goal as a repeat of her sophomore year. For Diaz, the second time around is even sweeter. She made the All-State Band as a sophomore, and sees her senior year repeat as a validation of her abilities on the clarinet.

At first, Diaz was sure she would play something like the flute, or perhaps even the trumpet. But when she picked up the clarinet, it felt natural. And she said it was a choice made all on her own with no parental pressure.

"When you're young, you don't really know what you want, but I'm kind of glad things turned out this way," Diaz said.

Playing clarinet for area competition meant facing off against 80 to 100 other players for a handful of spots, a situation Diaz tries to take in stride.

"It was kind of intimidating, I usually don't get nervous until I sit down and get ready to play. I tried to stay calm and read a book," she said.