Parish Episcopal School student Graydon Moore ’23 and the bassoon have become a natural combination, just like mac-n-cheese or peanut butter and jelly. She’s been playing the double reed wind instrument since 6th grade and enjoys putting in practice time each week. Everything about the instrument appeals to her style and personality.
“I love playing the bassoon because it is very unique,” said Moore. “I like that it is different and that not a lot of people know about it. It's very tall and I'm also tall, so I like that we are both unique in that way.”
Moore’s talent and hard work recently paid off. In November, she auditioned with 7th and 8th grade students in our region of Texas and was selected to be among the four bassoonists for the Middle School All Region Band. She became the first student to represent Parish during the Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) Region 2, MS Region Band Clinic and Concert.
“Being selected is quite an honor.” said Ruth Williams, Parish Episcopal School band director. “Public and Private 3A and 4A schools participate in this region band audition, meaning hundreds of students try to make it in each year.”
Moore prepared two musical excerpts and scales on the bassoon. On January 18 and 19, she attended the ATSSB Region Band Clinic and Concert. During these two days, Moore rehearsed with the region band and performed in a concert at Argyle High School.
“This is the first time that I have participated in ATSSB Region Band Clinic and Concert,” said Moore. “I was very proud of myself for getting in because it had been one of my goals for this year.”
“I am extremely proud of Graydon,” noted Williams. “She is a mature, young musician, takes private lessons on a regular basis and truly exhibits what it means to be a great band student. I knew after the first week of school that she was going to be a special part of our band program here at Parish, and she is slowly proving that to be very true.”
Moore, who is the only bassoon player at Parish, describes her experience as “very exciting,” especially considering that she got to meet other bassoonists in the region. She also encountered the strong culture of band in North Texas and was exposed to the many opportunities for instrumentalists, musicians and band members.
”Miss Williams is a great band teacher and without her I don't think that I would’ve been able to reach my goal,” added Moore. “Whenever I had questions about the event she was always happy to answer them; she always encourages the band to come in whenever we can to practice.”
Band starts in Middle School at Parish with a number of music offerings through Upper School. Under the direction of Williams, students can participate in 5th grade Concert Band, 6th grade Symphonic Band, 7th & 8th grade Wind Ensemble, 9-12th grade Parish Winds and Jazz Band. The programs have evolved and changed over the years with Williams taking over during the 2017-18 school year. She hopes to build on the program’s current success and get more Parish students involved in regional and state band events.
“I am here to show students that there is so much more out there than they could imagine,” she said. “This is the very first step in doing just that. Band is cherished and loved in our area of Texas, and I want that culture to find its way into our culture of Band here at Parish as well.”