Earlier this month, we recognized the four Irving ISD students who were recently named All-State musicians by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). Read their reflections on the honor below.
Esperanza Eagans, Nimitz High School
“It felt unreal,” says Esperanza Eagans, junior at Nimitz High School. “I heard my name called, and I was in shock because I never thought it would be me, or that I would be able to come as far as I did.”
Eagans is looking forward to running it back next year but she’s excited to take a slightly more laid-back approach.
“I see myself doing it again but with a lot less of the pressure I experienced this year. It will be fun to learn the music without having to overstress myself,” she says.
Eagans hopes to study music at the University of Arkansas or Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Reymundo Gomez, Nimitz High School
“When I first found out, my jaw dropped,” says Reymundo Gomez, senior at Nimitz High School. “I couldn’t believe it, but it felt really rewarding.”
“There’s so much practice and work ethic that you have to build upon every year. If you didn’t make it the previous year, there’s plenty of time to learn and figure out what you did wrong and figure out what you can do better,” he says.
Gomez looks forward to continuing choir after high school while attending the University of Texas at Arlington.
“I’ll make sure music is a part of my life, no matter what,” he says.
Rhiannon Hayle, Nimitz High School
“I’m my own worst critic,” says Rhiannon Hayle, junior at Nimitz High School. “I was certain that because of the small mistakes I made that there’d be no way I would make it. But when I heard my name, I remember yelling out ‘What, that’s crazy!’”
For Hayle, it’s certainly not a one-and-done scenario, as she’s looking to improve at next year’s competition.
“I’m going to do it again, and I’m going to aim for a higher chair,” she says.
Hayle plans on being a music major in college at McKinney State University in Louisiana, focusing on vocal performance.
Andrea Viehweg, MacArthur High School
“I was shocked, elated and just really proud of all the effort I put into it,” says Andrea Viehweg, senior at MacArthur High School. “I put four years of my life into it, and it finally paid off as I was able to reach my goal.”
Viehweg is in very elite company as she was the only student from MacArthur High School to earn the All-State distinction. In fact, only 2% of the 70,000 Texas high school musicians who compete are named All-State musicians.
“It feels special, I feel very honored, and it serves as a great motivation to keep doing what I’m doing,” she says. “It’s a reminder to myself that if I put enough hard work into something eventually it will pay off.”
Entering her senior year, Viehweg was well aware that when it came to being named to All-State, it was now or never.
“This year, the stakes were higher because it was my last chance. What made things even more stressful is that I have generalized anxiety disorder and over the years it’s manifested a bit more. However, I’ve learned to harness it into my musicianship and it has taught me to grow into myself and be more confident. I knew that I could do it and so I did,” she says.
Viehweg looks forward to continuing choral performance or even taking a risk and trying opera at the University of Texas at Austin.