Rector High Band Members Named All-Region
The Rector High School Marching Band continues to make great strides under the tutelage of director Daniel Van Aalsburg, and officials throughout the area are taking notice. During his past week's All-Region Band auditions, Rector had two high school students receive honors at the event, which highlights the most talented musicians in the region. Senior Tyler Remagen was named First Band, First Chair, the highest ranking, for his performance on the tenor sax, which Van Aalsburg notes is one of the most unforgiving instruments in terms of making even the smallest of mistakes. Sophomore Blake LaRue was also recognized for his talents, being named Second Band, First Chair for his performance on the tuba.
The two high schoolers join two freshmen performers, Andrew Garron and Rhonda Walker. Garron was named Second Band, First Chair for his performance on the baritone sax. Walker received Second Band, Eighth Chair for her skill on the French horn.
"I'm very proud of these kids because I know how hard they've worked to be selected to All-Region," Van Aalsburg said. "They have spent many, many hours practicing on their own time in addition to what we do in class. It takes an extreme dedication on their part."
Typically when auditioning for All-Region honors, students are required to learn four to six songs from which judges will pick three for each entrant to perform. Each student is also required to demonstrate spot reading, reading and playing a new song from a cold start with no prior preparation.
Remagen, 17, through his top finish has reached the qualification to be selected for All-State Band, and has met the requirements for top scholarship opportunities through the band. The son of James Glasgow and Amy Remagen, he has been a part of the band program since the sixth grade. He plans to attend college and pursue a degree in music.
"I guess if you want something bad enough you keep trying until you get it," Remagen said of the work put in to achieving his high ranking. In addition to staying after school three to four days per week, he and LaRue also made contact with instructors at Arkansas State University and were able to take part in additional instructions at the college.
LaRue, the 15-year-old son of Rev. Phillip and Kim LaRue, has reached a high level at a young age, with two more years to audition and potentially qualify for All-State, an achievement Van Aalsburg notes is excellent for a sophomore.
Remagen, LaRue, Garron and Walker will have the opportunity to perform with other All-Region qualifiers this Saturday during scheduled performances at Arkansas State University's Fowler Center. The performances, featuring four All-Region Bands, will begin at 2 p.m.
"I'm so proud of these guys and what they've accomplished," Van Aalsburg said. "This is one of the top honors a student can receive in band. They've earned a place among the best of the best. It's something they should be very proud to have achieved."