Deegan earns top chair

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Drum major, first clarinet, first tenor saxophone, Sean Deegan has done it all. And now, Deegan has been selected as the top clarinetist for the All-State Band.

The All-State Band and Orchestra are highly selective ensembles for the top high school musicians in Iowa. Usually, between 40-70 clarinets audition, and only 12 spots are available.

All-State Auditions took place October 20, at Independence High School and lasted the entire day.

“The day of All-State auditions is always a bit chaotic,” Deegan said.

This was Deegan’s third year auditioning for All-State. According to band director Ms. Kelli Swehla, Deegan used his past experience to his advantage.

“Sean had a great experience at All-State last year as a sophomore and was selected as alternate. He used that as fuel this year to put forth a great audition day,” Swehla said.

Deegan was confident after his first audition.

“I specifically remember karate-chopping the air as soon as I left the classroom [where the audition took place],” Deegan said.

His successful audition led him to have a call-back later in the day.

For call-backs, 16 clarinetists are usually recalled and four are eliminated.

When the results were posted, Deegan found he was the top clarinetist for All-State Band.

“When I found out, I jumped very, very high in the air and yelled. I was not confident that I had made All-State, let alone gotten the top chair in the band. It was very unexpected, and I hugged a lot of people,” Deegan said.

The All-State Music Festival will take place November 15-17. The All-State Band, Orchestra, and Choir will perform in a concert on the 17 at the Jacobson Athletic Building in Ames, Iowa.


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Deegan earns top chair