Mabon and Warner Rise Up to All-state Orchestra and Concert Band

Mabon and Warner Rise Up to All-state Orchestra and Concert Band

High school friends, extracurriculars, and academics create memories that last a lifetime.

For many in the student body, these core memories include music.  Whether it be an orchestra, concert choir, band, marching band, jazz band or select strings, there is a sense of community and teamwork that builds the esteem of a student. School music programs can teach students about the world around them and also about themselves within. 

Two students specifically found their place to express themselves and their talent. Junior Harrison Mabon and junior Chloe Warner went above and beyond to reach the All-State level within PMEA and a new community platform. Along with Orchestra director Andrew Jones, these students traveled to Erie, Indiana to participate in the All-state concert as they finally reached the end of the long auditioning process.

“The PMEA events- people call them competitions, but they aren’t really competitions it’s more of just making music,” Jones said. “In December, they audition for district orchestra and district band. If you rank high enough, then you go to district orchestra, where they put you in the orchestra in January or February, and you re-audition. If you rank high enough, then you move on.”

Warner has played trumpet for 9 years with the help of her grandfather’s trumpet and her mom’s teaching. Ever since she played this shining instrument for the first time, she had a passion for it, which continued as she reached many PMEA events leading to the final All-State Concert Band performance. 

“I like the flexibility it has if I’m being honest,” Warner explained. “It’s kind of the only instrument in a band that can be played in every other ensemble. I like the sound of brass instruments better than woodwinds, and just playing it is a lot of fun.”

Harrison Mabon has been playing violin for nine years under the guidance of his parents, Jones and Mrs. Detrick [private teacher].  He has participated in the high school orchestra, select strings and many other honor orchestras. 

“My mother played violin all throughout high school and semi-professionally, and it’s from her that I first got connected… she helped foster music as a kid,” Mabon said. 

Harrison Mabon poses with the PMEA sign at Eerie, Pennsylvania at the All-State Orchestra and Concert Band event. Photograph Courtesy of Andrew Jones

Both of these students have put in exceptional effort and had to balance their time between practicing, auditioning, classes, sports and many other activities. 

“There has been a little of a struggle balancing everything, but I think trying to be forward with people, being honest with what’s going on and about finding time to practice and prepare and being intentional really helps,” Mabon said. 

Not only does this accomplishment show great dedication and skill, but it also shows how much hard work can pay off with benefits that last a lifetime. 

“One of the things I have enjoyed most this year is kind of the social aspect and meeting so many people,” Warner said.  “Even if they are not long-term friends, they are good people, and finding a good group of them is really cool because we have a lot in common and a lot of the same interests, that’s always nice.”

The preparation for these auditions is not the only thing on the player’s mind when reaching this pinnacle point because they want to make sure their efforts are worthwhile as they complete the final concert.

Warner and Mabon come together after their performance at the PMEA All-State Orchestra and Concert Band event in Eerie, Pennsylvania. Photograph Courtesy of Andrew Jones

“You only have a couple days to put on the best possible performance,” Mabon said. “I’ve gotten used to balancing my energy throughout the day and being present.”

Both Warner and Mabon explain that it really isn’t the success or talent aspect of the music groups here at the high school, it’s the relationships that are created. These relationships allow for not only their musical talent to prosper but also for their personality to fully bloom. 

“Most of my friends in my life honestly have stemmed from musical activities,” Warner said.“My closest friends are in music, that ‘s probably what would the biggest factor or benefit.”

These students have finally reached the top this year, but that doesn’t mean they will not continue their efforts and prosper the rest of their time here in the high school and beyond. These participants both reflect on their experience and what they have gained by giving their lives to music and giving advice for those wanting to achieve what they have done. 

“Playing for people is the best way to handle that feeling of nervousness that never fully goes away,” Mabon states. “Always be listening to other people, and keep your ears and eyes open to all kinds of music in general.”



Families and friends watch as the All-State Orchestra and Concert Band perform at the PMEA All-State event. Photograph Courtesy of Andrew Jones



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