Band Members Qualify for State Groups


Even though COVID caused many hardships for Socastee music students to overcome, a number of them still made it into the hard-to-enter region and state bands.

Band is an A/B day class, which meets every other day. But due to COVID restrictions, only half the number of students could be in class in person at one time. On days that band students attended virtually, they still tuned in and might be called on to play their part from home, but much of their practice was done on their own and it was also up to students to put in more hours.

“These kids did an awful lot on their own this year,” Band Director Mrs. Cheryl Polenick said.

Even so, two students — Senior Jazz Guitarist Andrew Tomlinson and Senior Tenor Saxophonist Jake Jones — made one of the states two All-State Jazz Combo Bands, which each have only about 20 members.

“Just like in a regular rock band, there is only one student on a part,” Mrs. Polenick said.  “Socastee is proud to have these two students who are the best in the state!”

Eleven students also made the All-State Symphony, along with two making it as alternates.

The audition process for these bands was a lot different this year. Instead of playing live for the judges, the students had to record themselves and send in a video. The students got the chance to record up to five times and then choose one of those tries to submit as their audition. On the bright side, this made auditioning a little less stressful.

“It’s definitely easier this year,” Mrs. Polenick said. “It’s reachable to a lot of students.”

She said getting into Regional and All-State bands classifies students as gifted and talented.

“On a college resume, it shows that this student is willing to go the extra mile,” Mrs. Polenick said.