Junior Hailey Sherill will be making her third trip in three years to the All-State Band in February after earning a seat with her French horn.
“Three years in the Texas All-State Band is a major accomplishment,” said SHS Band Director Wayne King. “There aren't many things in high school that even come close in competitiveness.”
Her mother Mrs. Cathy Sherill, who taught music at the Elementary School and is currently the assistant band director of the High School band, is a major influence on Hailey.
Her mother helped teach Hailey how to set small goals to reach a larger one and set the timeline to make it happen. Mrs. Sherill also taught her daughter a winning way to practice called the Five Penny Method.
“You put five pennies on the music stand. When you play the piece perfectly, move one penny over. Once you’ve moved all the pennies, you are done for the day. If you miss one, you move all the pennies back and start over.”
Hailey enjoys playing her instrument, but to be successful, has a goal to practice 30 minutes every weekday. She admits she doesn’t always manage the time because music isn’t her only interest. She’s also a cheerleader, Color Guard member, Cross Country runner, dancer, a member of National Honor Society, and in dual-credit courses in school, which also give credits towards a college degree.
Hailey schedules out each day and says she learned time management by trying to balance her activities.
“My parents always encourage me to keep going even when I don’t want to practice, and they tell me about what will happen if I make it,” said Hailey. “They are always so positive.”
Smithville High School hosted the All-Region Tryouts for Region 13 in December. In January, Hailey tried out for the All-State Band earning one of the two seats available in this Area. With five 4-A Areas in the state, 10 French horns will be seated in All-State Band.
Mr. King says that Hailey is in the top one percent of students he has ever taught both musically and in her work efforts.
Hailey, who has been practicing the music since this summer, will audition for her seat assignment next month, followed by two days of rehearsal with the rest of the state band members, and the concert performance February 17th in the Lila Cockrell Theater at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.