Avery Maples, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and a senior at Swain County High School has placed in the top five clarinet spots for the North Carolina All-State Honor Band. Band students across the state audition within their district for a coveted spot in their All-District band.
The Bandmaster’s Association is divided into seven districts. There are 15 counties making up the Western district and students from all high schools, regardless of school size, compete with one another for selected spots in the district ensemble.
Maples placed 1st chair clarinet in the Western district.
“This is an incredible accomplishment,” says Swain Co. High School Band Director Karen Williams. “All district band auditions are highly competitive and Avery placing 1st speaks to her work ethic and level of dedication.”
Once students across all seven districts participate in their district clinics, only the top scorers go on to audition for all state. Twenty clarinets were accepted into the 11-12 All-State Honor Band across the entire state of North Carolina and Maples placed into the top five. She will perform at UNC Chapel Hill in May with top conductors from around the country.
Since joining the Swain band program in 6th grade, she has played clarinet in All-District, All-State, Asheville Youth Symphony, Carnegie Hall, N.C. Governor’s School, and The European Ambassador tour group.
When asked what band has meant to her over the years, Maples noted, “I value being part of an accepting community that values everyone. Being a part of band has allowed me to be a part of something bigger than myself and helped show me the value of teamwork and how to cooperate with others. Music is a powerful form of expression and connects you to the world.”
She will be attending Yale University this Fall.
- Swain Co. Schools release