The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Portales student selected for honor band


November 13, 2019

Courtesy photo

Parker Yi plays his euphonium Sunday morning as part of the National Honor Band.

Every year, thousands of high school musicians across the U.S. submit auditions to perform in the All National Honors Ensemble. Around 200 end up making the cut.

Portales High School senior Parker Yi was one of two New Mexico musicians selected to play in the ANHE's 120-person concert band this year after submitting his audition in May.

"It was very exciting. It's an honor to be chosen out of everyone who auditioned in the entire country," Yi said. "I was selected third chair out of eight other euphonium players."

Yi said he and his fellow performers spent three days rehearsing before performing Sunday morning at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla. This year's conductor was Emily Threinen of the University of Minnesota.

The theme of the concert was "American voices" and the ensemble performed classic pieces that included "Chester" and modern pieces "A Mother of A Revolution" by Omar Thomas.

"It was a little nerve racking, but it was a really good time," Yi said.

Portales Director of Bands Kelli Morrison said that to her knowledge, Yi is the first Portales High musician to perform in the National Honor Band.

"For Parker, its a huge honor to be selected at the national scale," Morrison said. "He's a huge example to his peers around him. He's an excellent musician and an excellent academic student. He's involved in a lot of other things. The city of Portales, Roosevelt County and New Mexico should be proud to see him represent them on the national stage."

Yi plays the euphonium, a brass wind instrument similar in appearance to a tuba. He's been playing for six years and plans to attend Eastern New Mexico University for a bachelor's degree in music after graduating high school.

"I just want to keep making music," Yi said.

Yi has been mentored for the last three years as a private student of Dustin Seifert, who serves as the chair of the ENMU Music Department and director of bands, while also teaching the euphonium and tuba lessons.

"Parker is a very bright and dedicated individual. While preparing him for auditions of this nature he's always been a bit of a sponge as we'd like to say," Seifert said, "Everything we teach him just sticks and I'm not surprised he was selected to perform."

Yi also submitted an audition for the New Mexico All State Band, which, if accepted, would mark his third year participating. He has also played in the all-district concert band.

The ANHE is organized annually by the National Association of Music Educators.


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