Viera High quintet selected for All-State Ensemble


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The five students chosen to the Florida All-State Ensemble were Sam Minaya (flute), left, Nico Andrade (tenor saxophone), Anny Acevedo (oboe) and Alec McDaniel (oboe). Not shown is Noah Palmer (contrabass clarinet).

Photo by Carl Kotala

The honors keep coming in for members of the Viera High band.

Five students were selected to the Florida All-State Ensemble, which features select band, orchestra and chorus members from around the state.

Those selected included seniors Nico Andrade (tenor saxophone), Sam Minaya (flute) and Noah Palmer (contrabass clarinet) along with junior Anny Acevedo (oboe) and sophomore Alec McDaniel (oboe).

“These five students were selected among hundreds across the state of Florida to perform in these prestigious ensembles,” Viera band director Nick Eggen wrote in an email. “They are some of the best student musicians Viera High School and Brevard County has to offer.”

Students selected to the All-State band submitted a recorded audition session in the fall. Those recordings were then sent for judging. Selections were announced last month.

Once selected, students will prepare for their ensemble music piece on their own until attending a meeting in Tampa in January. Following a full day of rehearsals, they will perform that night during the Florida Music Education Association Conference which takes place Jan. 9 to 12.

There will be 22 All-State Ensembles performing during the conference, which is expected to draw more than 10,000 people.

“I didn’t believe I actually made it,” Andrade said. “For all-county, there are maybe 50 people that try out. But for all-state, it’s the entire state. There are thousands of people that try out.

“To think that we were able to get it (was surprising).”

Despite making All-State last year, Minaya admitted he wasn’t sure what the chances would be that he would be chosen again.

I was doubting myself, too,” he said. “I don’t know why. I guess I just felt like I wasn’t good enough to make it again.”

But they were good enough. And in January, they’ll perform in front of the state.