Senior earns second chair in All-State Jazz ensemble

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Andrew Hager

Senior Dom Mauriello plays his trombone. Mauriello will perform with the All-State Jazz ensemble in San Antonio this February

Senior trombone player Dom Mauriello earned second chair in the All-State Jazz ensemble on Nov. 15. Mauriello was previously first chair at the All-Region level, and he will now go on to perform with the ensemble in February. 

“ [Making all-state] is something that when I saw someone do it for the first time, I was like ‘I want to do that’ which was probably my freshman year,” Mauriello said. “Ever since then, it’s been one of the goals I’ve been trying to reach.”

For the audition process, Mauriello had to play three etudes and an improvisation at both the region and area levels. 

“The audition process on its own is difficult with five judges evaluating players at every level, so to get to the top, even if you play great, is a daunting task,” band director Paul Heuer said. “It is wonderful when it happens, but all you really have control of is how you play and how hard you worked. The rest is up to people’s opinions.”

Leading up to the audition, Mauriello practiced the etudes and technical skills that would help him become a “better musician and a better player.”

“Any free time that Dom has, he’s practicing in the band hall whether in his off period or right after we already had band class,” Senior Bennett Sailer said. “It doesn’t matter what time of the day or where he is, if he has his horn he is practicing.”

Students are given the music for the audition in June, and Mauriello has played with ensembles outside of school to further prepare. 

“The process of getting through the audition to this high of a finish is great for Dom and also for his fellow Lovejoy Musicians,” Heuer said. “They see what it took to get to this skill level and they hear him every day in their own band hall. It has a great influence on the next generation of players for us.”

Mauriello started playing trombone in sixth grade, and there is an “array of musicians,” that he looks up to.

“My goal is to become an educator so that way I can teach a wide array of people and still keep my musicality,” Mauriello said. “Being able to give back to the kids that are like me looking for that kind of teacher and just giving them that opportunity to be taught.”

Mauriello will play with the ensemble in San Antonio for their February performance. There are 20 students who are a part of the All-State Jazz ensemble, and conductors from around the world will work with them. 

“It’s a pretty good feeling,” Mauriello said. “I am super excited to see what kind of doors this opens for me and how I can use this. The biggest thing is always understanding where I actually stand.”