Heart rates accelerate as the time to audition draws closer, the tension rises and hands slightly shake, sweat beading at the forehead. To be nervous is common, the idea that every note counts and every moment that passes will bring someone closer to the win, or to face defeat. It is a terror to know that someone will judge your movements as you remember how to breath, but that doesn’t stop Dominic Dipasquale or Harper Paparelli.
“All-State Competition is everybody in their assigned areas are competing against each other,” Dipasquale said. “There will be a total of ten alto saxophones competing and they only accept two.”
With seven years of experience playing the alto saxophone, Dipasquale tries his best in hopes of winning the competition this year.
“[I’ve practiced] hours and hours and hours. I honestly don’t know how many, I’ve lost count,” Dipasquale said.
The dedication to the music starts in June, when competitors are given the scores as summer begins.
“It means a lot,” Dipasquale said. “I mean I’ve been practicing so much and I’ve been wanting to get into state since my freshman year. I’m going to try and do my best, and hopefully I’ll make it in.”
The competition is Sat. Jan. 10 at the University of Texas at Austin.
“In the state of Texas [the competition is] actually harder than any other state,” Paparelli said. “The area we live in [is] more [competitive] between schools like Johnson, Reagan, and Churchill.”
Paparelli is auditioning with her clarinet, and is on the third and final round.
“The whole point of [the competition] is to kind of see how each person can be really good at three pieces of music, [pieces that are] lyrical to more technical [pieces],” Paparelli said. “It’s been really hard, but it’s to see who’s the best of the best.”
After months of preparing for the competition, both Paparelli and Dipasquale will finally audition for their place in the state.
“I’ve kinda already accomplished what I wanted to because I really got serious about this last year and I kinda fell back a little bit,” Paparelli said. “I missed the cut by one or two chairs to get to the final round and I’ve realized that I’m a better player than [that] so I’ve already accomplished [what I wanted] and gotten farther.”