The Blue Jay

Trombone Player is First to Qualify for State Band in Over a Decade

William+Osorio+is+the+first+student+to+qualify+for+KMEA+State+Band+in+13+years.+
William Osorio is the first student to qualify for KMEA State Band in 13 years.

William Osorio is the first student to qualify for KMEA State Band in 13 years.

Hannah Mancini

Hannah Mancini

William Osorio is the first student to qualify for KMEA State Band in 13 years.

Hannah Mancini, Staff Writer

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The brassy sound of a trombone cascades out of the band room multiple times a day. It may be morning or after school; Sophomore William Osorio is always found perfecting his craft. Will is a multi-genre trombonist who leaves no piece unmastered. He plays with a wisdom and emotion that most adult musicians still attempt to, and never, achieve.

Osorio is not only an incredible musician – he is the first band student in over a decade to be accepted into Kansas Music Educators Association All-State Band, comprised of the best high school musicians in the state of Kansas.

Junction City High School faces a unique challenge when qualifying students for state band due to its size classification.

KMEA State auditions are broken into categories – students are placed in a 1-4A band and 5-6A band dependent on the classification of their school. Junction City High School students participate in 6A competitions and auditions. Because of this, students often compete with students from larger cities.

“In a high traffic area like Kansas City, there is a lot of opportunities for those kids to get lessons and extra help. Here we have to be more creative in how we do that,” Assistant Band Director Sam Boxberger said.

Despite this challenge, Osorio has not allowed his musicianship to be limited. He attributes his growth as a musician to his practice philosophy and previous honor band experiences.

“[Honor band] has mostly helped with listening, and balancing. Seeing if you have melody, counter-melody, or backgrounds,” Osorio said.

KMEA auditions require students to perform a piece of music without prior practice – testing their ability to sight read.

“We don’t really learn the music before, you go in and throw it together and somehow – it turns into a beautiful masterpiece,” he said.

Osorio’s talent and hard work are not unnoticed amongst professionals. He has adapted to JCHS band’s new curriculum geared towards building musicianship in students, serving as a prime example of how to use it to one’s advantage.

“[William is] able to see the benefit in what’s going on, and even without getting private lessons, has been able to grow and really whittle down what makes music, music and how to get better at it. He is really straightforward with his musicianship,” Boxberger said.

Osorio’s dedication and hard work serves as a representation of Junction City’s talented student body and what they can do without the same opportunity or resources as other regions. His excitement, dedication, and appreciation for his musical opportunities is clear.

“I’m looking forward to playing with players at my level and above,” Osorio said. “I’m excited to make great music with other people, make new friends, and build relationships”

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Trombone Player is First to Qualify for State Band in Over a Decade