Today, I had the distinct pleasure to serve as a clarinet judge for Maryland All-State for the third consecutive year, along with several of my extremely talented colleagues.
One of the clear advantages to judging All-State is the ability to network and bond with colleagues and build lasting professional relationships. I have been blessed to meet so many incredible teachers and players through my experiences with All-State, and they have helped to make me a better teacher along the way. Another advantage is knowing the caliber of musicianship being displayed across the fine state of Maryland, which I can use to push my own high school students.
What a difference in talent we experienced this year, as compared to the past two. The vast majority of the students we listened to this year were poised, prepared, and pleasant. There were a few chuckles along the way, too, like the guy named Jake that laughed and said, “Yes, like ‘Jake from State Farm’,” that was immediately followed by a different student dressed in khakis and a red shirt.
All in all, the day passed quickly and with loads of smiles.