Two Thomas County Central High School youth musicians impressed the Georgia Music Educators Association with their skills, receiving a seat and an alternate position on the 2022 GMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble. Junior Tessa Thomas earned the single seat for vibraphone players. Junior Morgan Loper received the alternate position on piano, which means that, if the student selected cannot attend, Loper takes their place.
Joe Regina, TCCHS bands program director, said both students practiced tirelessly for their virtual auditions, and he’s proud of their accomplishments.
“It's very prestigious to be selected, even as an alternate, for the [GMEA] All-State Jazz Ensemble which is only composed of a total of 20 students statewide,” Regina said. “In fact, there is only one piano player and one vibraphone player selected from the entire state. The competition is fierce, and I'm extremely proud of both of them for their hard work and determination.”
Thomas calls earning a seat on the GMEA All-State Jazz Band an honor.
“Music has been a huge part of my life ever since I was a kid, and I view this as a great opportunity to learn more about it,” she said.
The youth musician, 16, has five years as a percussionist and two years playing vibraphone in her musical repertoire. However, music is a Thomas family tradition.