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McAllen ISD students had a whopping 16 students earn All-State honors in four music programs this year.

This includes 12 students in choir, two in band and one each in orchestra and mariachi. They are part of a prestigious group representing less than three percent of music students who auditioned across Texas.

The choir students include Connor McLeod (Memorial High, Mixed Choir), Kayla Johnson (Memorial High, Treble Choir), Stevie Rogers (McAllen High, Treble Choir), Miranda Arguelles (McAllen High, Treble Choir), Ian Yamada (McAllen High, Tenor/Bass Choir), Trip Shirah (McAllen High, Mixed Choir), Catherine Bynum (McAllen High, Mixed Choir), Lauren Rodriguez (Rowe High, Treble Choir), Debanhi Arriola (Rowe High, Treble Choir), Gabriel Banda (Rowe High, Mixed Choir), James Humphrey (Rowe High, Mixed Choir) and Michael Banda (Rowe High, Mixed Choir).

The band students include Alexis Aguilar (Memorial High, French horn) and Orlando Meija (Rowe High, trombone). The orchestra student is Andrew Trevino (violin) and the mariachi student is Jeykob Lopez (guitar), both of McAllen High.

“This speaks to the quality and depth of our music programs in McAllen ISD,” Fine Arts Director Debra Loya said. “Texas has a reputation for having some of the best high school music programs in the country and, as a result, some of its most highly skilled performers. Congratulations to our hard-working students and their directors.”

This is the 45th straight year McAllen ISD had produced multiple students who earned All-State recognition in music. This year, McAllen ISD had three more All-State music students compared to 2023.

Students will perform on February 10 in San Antonio as part of the 2024 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention.

McAllen ISD has been named a national Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants for 11 straight years.

Students were chosen for this prestigious honor through a competitive process held this year across the state at District, Region, and Area levels.

High school students selected to perform in the All-State concerts have competed through auditions to qualify at the state level. All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Nearly 1,900 students (1,875) are selected through a process that began with more than 70,000 students from around the state vying for this honor to perform in one of 18 ensembles.

Texas Music Educators Association sponsors the Texas All-State competition. This competitive process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 33 TMEA Regions. Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advances from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in eight TMEA Area competitions. The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group. Only the top 2.6% of musicians who initially audition become All-State musicians.

These All-State students participate in four days of rehearsals directed by nationally recognized conductors during the TMEA Clinic/Convention. Their performances for thousands of attendees bring this extraordinary event to a close. For the All-State concert and conductor information, go to the Performances section of

About TMEA
Since 1920, Texas Music Educators Association has worked to ensure excellence in music education for all Texas students. TMEA’s 19,800 members include more than 13,800 school music educators who belong to one of five TMEA Divisions: Band, Orchestra, Vocal, Elementary, and College. Members elect Vice-Presidents to their Division to guide the Division’s programming. On behalf of its members and Texas students, TMEA monitors the actions of state decision-making bodies on issues affecting fine arts instruction in Texas. In addition to many member benefits, TMEA offers professional development for its members through workshops and its annual Clinic/Convention that hosts more than 30,000 attendees. TMEA supports the future of music education by offering scholarships to music education majors and sponsoring the Texas Future Music Educators, an organization through which high school students interested in careers in music education learn more about what to expect in their college education and future careers.