Autumn Bell, Jack Griset, and Brianne Finnell

Melissa High School students, Autumn Bell, Brianne Finnell, and Jack Griset, have been selected for the 2021 All-State Band by the Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB).

Sophomore Autumn Bell, third chair flute, senior Brianne Finnell, second chair clarinet, and senior Jack Griset, first chair percussion, are members of the Melissa High School Mighty Cardinal Band and perform under the direction and leadership of Jerry Whorton and Jordan Hayes. The students placed in the top chair of their respective sections at the area level of the competition and went on to receive all-state honors.

As the first top chair percussionist in school history, this is the second consecutive year that Jack Griset has qualified for the All-State Band. This is a first-year honor for both Autumn Bell and Brianne Finnell.

“It is with great pride that we as a band staff recognize the achievements of these three outstanding musicians. Through hard work, perseverance, and self-motivation, these students overcame many challenges to receive all-state honors this year,” said Eric Boyett, Assistant Director of Bands. “We praise these musicians for their efforts and extend our deepest and most heartfelt congratulations.”

Last fall, 39 students from Melissa Middle School and 29 students from Melissa High School earned a spot in the All-Region Band, and 14 high school students advanced to area.

Autumn, Brianne, and Jack are three of only 280 students from across the state who were selected for the All-State Band out of more than 10,000 high school students who entered the competition. Typically, the All-State Band performs at the annual Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Conference. However, with the conference being held virtually this year due to COVID-19, alternative plans are in the works to showcase the All-State Band honorees.