The Capital School District Board of Education honored the Dover High and Central Middle school students named to the 2013 Delaware All-State band, ensemble and choir during the board's recognition ceremony held at the outset of Wednesday night's meeting.
The Delaware Music Educators Association, a body of professional music educators, organizes the annual All-State programs for students who are involved in their school music programs.
The prestigious honor begins with seventh graders.
Among those honored Wednesday night were Dover seniors Trevor Thomas, a percussionist, and Harlie Norquest, who plays the French horn.
"As a musicians, it's something we all sort of work up to – to be able to play at a level beyond our school," Thomas said. "To be able to make All-State Ensemble and be able to play with musicians like us from any other school is a great opportunity. We're all excited about that. And the fact that the school board supports us is even better."
Norquest appreciated the recognition from the Capital School District during a time when funding had been cut for arts program in the wake of the Great Recession.
"It's great to know that Dover High School's and the Capital School District's program is still alive and still going," she said.
Also among those honored Wednesday night was Dover senior Anisa Adkins, who earned the sixth All-State Choir selection, the maximum. This year, she was honored with an All-State Senior Choir selection.
"It's nice to be recognized for something that you hard for every year," Adkins said. "They talk about sports and other things. But it's nice to be recognized for music, which is what I really like to do."
The All-State selections never get old, Adkins said.
"I'm going to miss it next year," she said. "I won't get to do it because I'll be in college [the University of Maryland]."
However, her brother Christian, a Dover sophomore, and sister, Kristen, a Central Middle eighth grader, will be trying to repeat as All-State musicians. Kristen Adkins, like her sister, made All-State Chorus for the second year in a row while Christian Adkins made All-State Jazz Ensemble.
"It makes you feel like you're a part of something bigger than yourself," Kristen Adkins said.
Christian Adkins said he liked the way All-State Ensemble taught him things beyond what he had learned at school.
"It gives you something to work toward," he said.
Dover High senior Cesar Martinez was honored with an All-State Senior Choir selection, which followed up his All-State Junior Choir selection in 2012. He was glad to see the school board honor "a pretty good arts program."
Page 2 of 2 - "It's such a wonderful experience," Martinez said. "I wish I had done it the other four years. It's so awesome that you can meet other kids who do what you do and meet different directors from all over the nation to get these different points of view on music."
When asked how music had helped them as students in general, Anisa Adkins said she noticed that nine out of the top 10 students at Dover had been involved in music.
"I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but it helps with work ethic, I think, definitely," she said. "To keep going over the same two little measures is a pain sometimes. But if you apply that same work ethic to your classroom you'll do great."
Indeed, Norquest said music had made her more analytical in nature.
"Music is one of the hardest things you can do," she said. "And I feel like if you can read music and you can play music really well you can do almost anything. If music gives you that confidence, then you pretty good grades in your other subjects."
CAPITAL SCHOOLS DELAWARE ALL-STATE MUSIC MEMBERS
All-State Junior Band
All-State Senior Band
All-State Jazz Ensemble
All-State Junior Choir
All-State Women's Choir
All-State Senior Choir
Cesar Kailani Martinez
Note: Students are from Dover High School and Central Middle School. Selections are for 2013.