Houston High School sophomore Devon Sawyer has earned a significant honor for his talent playing bass clarinet by being named to the honorable mention list at the recent Missouri All-State Band auditions.
Sawyer auditioned on for the South Central Missouri Music Educators District 9 Honor Band Nov. 5 at Parkview High School in Springfield. He successfully obtained the 1st chair placement in the bass clarinet section of the top honor band.
The achievement made Sawyer eligible to audition at the state level. On Dec. 7, he participated in the Missouri All-State Band auditions at Columbia Hickman High School in Columbia. He auditioned on three separate instruments (bass clarinet, concert tenor sax and jazz tenor sax), and after a lengthy wait, he saw his name at No. 5 on the bass clarinet honorable mention list.
HHS band director Wayne Brown accompanied Sawyer on the trip to Columbia. Brown said the state honor band system took five performing bass clarinets, two alternates and five honorable mention students, basically making Sawyer the 12th best high school bass clarinet player in the state.
“He beat out many juniors and seniors from big city areas with more opportunity for lessons and playing at events,” Brown said. “And he’s only a sophomore. He has a great future ahead of him.”
“I am thankful for the opportunity to go to state, and more than happy to have made it onto the list,” Sawyer said.
Brown said Sawyer’s success comes from his love of the craft.
“He practices on his own all the time,” he said. “He really enjoys it.”
Sawyer was also selected to perform in Southwest Baptist University Honor Band and the University of Missouri – Kansas City Midwest Honor Band that will perform in mid-January.
“I could not be more proud of Devon with his accomplishments,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to watching him improve and seeing where he goes from here.”