Although oboe isn't her first instrument, Maconaquah High School freshman Anastasia Spahr was recently accepted into a prestigious statewide band for her talent.
Spahr said the piano is where she feels most proficient, and she also plays the violin. Despite this, she said it is “a big honor” to be accepted into the Indiana Bandmasters Association (IBA) Junior All-State Band for the second year in a row. Only four oboe players in grades 7-9 are selected to be part of the band from the entire state, and she is the first Maconaquah student to ever be accepted into the band, let alone twice.
“I hoped that I’d get in again since I was in it last year,” Spahr said.
Spahr said she submitted recordings of two musical excerpts and filled out a written application for the audition. Since this is her second year in the band, she knows what to expect in terms of practice and rehearsal time.
“I kind of know what to prepare,” she said. “I won't be as overwhelmed by it.”
MHS band director Matthew Carnagua said if he was writing the recipe to build the perfect student musician, it would include all of the ingredients that have made Spahr into the musician she is today and continues to grow to be.
“To say that I am proud of her accomplishment of making this group at all, let alone twice, would be a massive understatement,” Carnagua said.
There is a plaque at both Maconaquah middle and high schools to commemorate students who have been part of an All-State band because it is the highest level of an ensemble that a student can achieve.
According to Carnagua, Spahr is a successful musician because she puts in consistent hard work and takes private lessons.
“This all seems pretty typical of her character overall because she has the motivation and drive to excel in all that she does,” Carnagua said.
Although she doesn't see herself as a music major in the future, Spahr said music “gives me a way to express myself” and “structure for my time.”
Spahr will perform with the IBA Junior All-State Band January 13th at the IMEA Convention Center in Fort Wayne.