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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Student selected to all-state band for first time in years

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Greg Bain II, a senior at Sikeston High School, has been selected to the Missouri All-State Band.
SIKESTON -- Greg Bain's love for the trumpet began when he picked the instrument to play in the sixth grade. And he hasn't stopped playing since.

"It came natural, and I just like music," said Bain, a senior at Sikeston Senior High, about his talent. "It didn't really start until ninth grade when I got motivation after hearing all of the upperclassmen play."

Earlier this month, Bain's years of playing paid off when he was selected as the first chair trumpet for the Missouri All-State Band.

"It's a big thing for Sikeston," said Sikeston R-6 band director Kim Duncan. "A little over 1,000 students competed at state and 108 were trumpet players. And Greg was No. 1 out of 108 -- so he's the top trumpet player in the state of Missouri."

Auditions for all-state band took place Dec. 3 at Hickman High School in Columbia.

But the state auditions weren't the first for Bain. Last year he competed at the state level and made it to callbacks.

"As soon as he got home (last year), he got the music and started practicing. He practices an hour and a half every day. Any student knows he practices all the time, and he loves playing the trumpet," Duncan said.

This year Bain went into the competition with a little more experience, which helped, he said.

"It got me used to the whole process of how they do things," Bain said about competing last year.

The state is divided into 12 districts for the competition After students audition, the judges post call backs. Then students who are called back go in and play the same music for a different judge, Duncan explained.

"The second time you play decides if you make it and what chair you are," Duncan said. "It's a really long day."

Students, their teachers and family members wait for officials to post the results.

"It was pretty nerve racking and scary," Bain recalled. Bain admitted he was more nervous about hearing the results than the actual audition.

"They have this huge wall with nothing on it. They do a Power Point presentation of the results. We were just sitting there waiting and someone brought a floppy disk in and put it in the computer," Bain said.

Bain said he quickly began scanning the wall for the trumpet selections.

"I was looking at the bottom of the list and didn't expect to make it. Then I saw my name (at the very top) and thought, 'Wow!'" Bain said. "My jaw dropped. It was awesome, and I didn't think I would get first chair. I thought probably honorable mention."

But Bain's music teachers weren't surprised.

"He's a hard worker. He's been working on the music for a solid year. He's hardworking and he practices all the time. He's great," Duncan said.

In addition to Duncan, Darren Steelman and Mark McCord are also band directors at Sikeston R-6.

"We're very proud of him. He put in a lot of work, and I'm glad it paid off as well as did," Duncan said.

The band will meet, rehearse and perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference Jan. 25-28 at Tan-Tar-A Resort, Lake of the Ozarks. "Every music teacher in the state goes (to the conference), and the all-state band, choir and orchestra and rehearse for three days and then perform in front of thousands of people," Duncan said.

Other area students making all-state band were Dexter High School junior Olivia Shell, first chair, English horn; and Scott City High School senior Rebecca Wheetley, second chair, clarinet.

"I'm honored and it's an awesome feeling," Bain said. "It's great."

Bain, who is the son of Greg and Shelia Bain of Sikeston, plans to attend Southeast Missouri State University in the fall and major in music education. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he plans to pursue a master's degree in instrumental performance.

And Bain said he doesn't think he'll ever tire of playing the trumpet. He said: "I wake up in the morning and look forward to playing -- and I love it."