Orchestra Students Advance to All-State

Yunbeen Bae and Andrew Choi reflect on their success in orchestra


Anna Deardorff, Senior Writer

     Reedy will be represented in two of the three Texas Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra performances by cellists Yunbeen Bae and Andrew Choi. The convention is held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio from Feb. 13 to 16.

     “I was very happy when I heard the news,” junior Yunbeen said. “I am motivated to push even harder because something I haven’t been able to do in two years is finally accomplished.”

     Andrew mentioned how he always pictured himself getting all-state, and this being his senior year, he has fulfilled that dream. He started playing the cello in fourth grade and hasn’t stopped for eight years.

     “I just love music and I love playing,” Choi said. “I especially love the dynamic orchestra has; it’s like a family. We’re a very tight knit group and it’s nice to have.”  

     Both the cellists learned two full pieces of music as well as four excerpts from various musicians. With auditions in October, they started rehearsing around July and spent a good two to three months preparing.

     “I think only practicing an excerpt doesn’t get you a chance in the orchestra because you have to have a lot of experience,” Yunbeen said. “In reality, I would say I’ve been preparing my entire career for it.”  

     The process begins at the region auditions, a competition where Plano, Little Elm, Frisco, and Prosper students all compete for a chance to be one of the 32 cellists judges choose. Following region, there is a screening process, a recording process, pre-area, and area.

     “Making it to state is a very accomplishing feat, but a lot of people aim higher than that,” Yunbeen said. “If I decide to audition again, then I aim to make higher chairs. I am content but not too content.”  

     Yunbeen has been playing for six years, and making all-state was an expectation both her and her family set for herself. Although she faced difficulties in fulfilling what was expected of her, she, “learned that life isn’t all flowers and successes.”

     Yunbeen will be performing Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky and Millennium Canons by Kevin Puts, and Andrew’s will perform Wagner’s Tannhäuser overture.

     “Music has allowed me to connect with other people,” Andrew said. “Learning how to play music and learning how to express yourself helps you become more social. It helps you become more personable and allows you to connect with other people.”