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Cario Middle celebrates band success despite COVID setbacks

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Cario Band

Cario’s band rehearsing outdoors.

The band students at Thomas C. Cario Middle School had an unconventional year, yet the students’ perseverance amidst challenges led to success at the All State Band and Region 4 band auditions, according to band director Jeff Scott.

“It says a lot about the heart and dedication of our kids to still be successful considering all of the difficulties they have had to go through and all the disappointments,” Scott said.

After several canceled events over the past year, the seventh and eighth grade band students were still able to audition for regional and state bands. However, they auditioned by downloading an app and performing in front of their phones instead of a panel of judges.

Cario’s results in the All State auditions included 19 seated students, which was the most in the state, along with six alternates. The All State Band is the highest individual honor available to a band student in the state. The group is selected from the top one-third of each of the five regions in South Carolina. Fifty-five students made the Region 4 Band.

Scott said Cario has placed more students in All State compared to any other program for the last 20 years. However, the past year posed more challenges than any other.

“They adapt much quicker and more efficiently to change than a lot of adults – they don’t complain, they don’t whine about it, they aren’t uncooperative. They know it’s what they have to do to play,” Scott said.

Since there is not enough space indoors to socially distance the up to 72-student classes, the band utilized outdoor space for rehearsals. This meant bringing the equipment outside each morning and hoping the rain held off throughout the day.

“If it’s 100 degrees were out, if it’s 30 degrees were out and if it rains we can’t rehearse at all,” Scott said.

Other COVID-19 protocols included bell covers at the end of the instruments and specific band masks with a small slit so the students are still able to play while wearing a mask. Scott said all band programs across the state made similar adaptations and it’s been a difficult year for students across the board.

Despite all of the uncertainty, Scott said the students were still committed to rehearsing and preparing for auditions. Typically, the All State students attend a weekend-long clinic to enhance their skills and meet other top band students from across the state, but that opportunity is still up in the air this year. Scott said the students still put in the effort despite knowing they may not receive the same recognition and benefits.

“It’s a lot of maturity for kids for an age group that’s not famously known for maturity,” Scott said.

Cario’s All State Band students

  • Sophia Pecoraro: 1st Flute
  • Annabelle Twomey: 2nd Flute
  • Sela Guy: 1st Alt. Flute
  • Evan Furtaw: 3rd Oboe
  • Zachary McClellen: 4th Bassoon
  • Elizabeth Mellette: 1st Alt. Bassoon
  • Lauren Clements: 2nd Clarinet
  • Alexa Hills: 8th Clarinet
  • Peyton Moody: 10th Clarinet
  • Ren Takemoto: 18th Clarinet
  • Molly George: 2nd Alt. Clarinet
  • Emma Khaskhely: 2nd Bass Clarinet
  • Kaitlyn Darnard: 3rd Bass Clarinet
  • So Takemoto: 5th Alto Saxophone
  • Annabelle Waters: 1st Alt. Tenor Saxophone
  • Morgan Vandiver: 1st Baritone Saxophone
  • Lucas Oppelt: 6th Trumpet
  • Emerson Mackes: 5th Alt. Trumpet
  • Nicole Pace: 2nd Horn
  • Riley Craft: 2nd Euphonium
  • Lauren Pace: 4th Euphonium
  • Owen Griffiths: 2nd Tuba
  • Nicholas Neal: 3rd Tuba
  • Vivienne Sjolander: 3rd Percussion
  • Remy Joy: 1st Alt. Timpani

Cario’s Region 4 Band students

  • Sela Guy: 2nd Flute
  • Leilana Kahalehoe: 4th Flute
  • Katya Mann: 5th Flute
  • Sophie Ottmers: 6th Flute
  • Sara Embrey: 10th Flute
  • MacKenzie Sheeran: 12th Flute
  • Valerie Cunnane: 1st Alt. Flute
  • Madeleine Harris: 4th Alt. Flute
  • Kylie Blevins: 7th Alt. Flute
  • Emerson Larsen: 9th Alternate Flute
  • Meghan Zimmerman: 2nd Oboe
  • Alessandra Botu: 3rd Oboe
  • Duru Bayran: 2nd Alt. Oboe
  • Elizabeth Mellette: 1st Bassoon
  • Beckman Schou: 4th Bassoon
  • Cara Olmo: 3rd Alt. Bassoon
  • Molly George: 2nd Clarinet
  • Marco Martino: 7th Clarinet
  • Evelyn Durkee: 8th Clarinet
  • Graham Gregory: 9th Clarinet
  • Mary Ella Grier: 11th Clarinet
  • Avarie Lyon: 12th Clarinet
  • Rosie Cunnane: 15th Clarinet
  • Nicole Gill: 23rd Clarinet
  • Brian Shay: 1st Alto Sax
  • Jackson Hooks: 2nd Alto Sax
  • Addison Kurtz: 3rd Alto Sax
  • Samuel Stein: 4th Alto Sax
  • Noah Miller: 5th Alto Sax
  • Colby Reese: 2nd Alt. Alto Sax
  • Annabelle Waters: 1st Tenor Sax
  • Kyle Angelich: 2nd Alt. Tenor Sax
  • Makoto Thompson: 2nd Trumpet
  • Talia Barsness: 6th Trumpet
  • Emerson Mackes: 7th Trumpet
  • Hunter Landon: 10th Trumpet
  • Morgan Smith: 11th Trumpet
  • Connor Kaping: 13th Chair
  • Nathaniel Reese: 14th Chair
  • Clara Danner: 15th Chair
  • Andrew MacDonald: 16th Chair
  • Zackary Wiley: 1st Horn
  • Nate Letourneau: 2nd Horn
  • Rachel Agudelo: 4th Horn
  • Phillip Kravchuk: 6th Alt Horn
  • Thomas Haddigan: 3rd Trombone
  • Nicholas Kirsling: 4th Trombone
  • Zachary Winston: 6th Trombone
  • Tyler Heckman: 8th Trombone
  • Julia Cherry: 9th Trombone
  • Aiden Robinson: 2nd Euphonium
  • Maxwell Winter: 4th Euphonium
  • Andrew Zuo: 1st Alt. Euphonium
  • Charlie Pratt: 5th Tuba
  • Alex Dew: 4th Percussion
  • Ben Yeomans: 5th Percussion
  • Mack Wood: 7th Percussion
  • Colsen Guy: 1st Timpani
  • Remy Joy: 1st Alt. Timpani

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