TCE advances to national competition in Ohio

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TCE advances to national competition in Ohio

Courtesy of Mrs. Kellie Knapp

Courtesy of Mrs. Kellie Knapp

Courtesy of Mrs. Kellie Knapp

Asa Herndon, Humans of Tunstall Editor

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For 23 years, during the spring semester, the band room has been crowded with percussion instruments from drums, to marimbas, to keyboards. Each is played by members of the school’s very own indoor percussion group: the Tunstall Concert Ensemble. However, what is most impressive about this group is that they are the only high school group in the nation that has made it to the national level for 23 years.

Much of the success has come from the head of the ensemble, Mr. Tim Bray, who has been with the group since it started 23 years ago. When asked what he considered to be the main reason for their long history of national competitions, Bray said, “Hard work and dedication are what I consider to be the main reason for our repeated success, as well the willingness of the older, more experienced students to help the newer ones.”

Bray says that he is looking forward to seeing the rest of the national finalists when the ensemble goes to Ohio.

But, it’s not just the leader of the ensemble who is looking forward to this competition. The excitement has spread to the students, as well. Senior Brian Nguyen, the only member of his grade level, shares the same optimism for his last competition.

“I’ve been in the ensemble for four years now, and I’m excited to go to one last national competition,” said Nguyen.

When asked what he will miss most, he said that he will miss his “companionship with the other members of [the] ensemble and the other ones, as well.”

The younger members also share the same enthusiasm. Freshman Katelyn Burd is one of the new keyboard players in the ensemble who joined because of her “genuine love and passion for music.” When asked if she would continue her involvement in the ensemble after this year, she said “Yes, for three more years.”

The Tunstall Concert Ensemble will compete in Dayton, Ohio, from April 19-21.

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