VINE GROVE, KY- The Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA), through the Kentucky Band Organization, has new honors being bestowed upon Middle School musicians this year. J.T. Alton 8th Graders Nyesha Borner and Blaine Desjourdy were named to the first-ever Middle School All-State Band this December.
Desjourdy, who has been playing the Clarinet in the Alton Band for the past three years, and this year joined the North Hardin Marching Band, said that “to be in the first-ever middle school all-state band is almost indescribable. it was such a big accomplishment for me because it took a lot of hard work and a lot of practice time.”
Borner, who has played Bass Clarinet for the last two years, playing the Clarinet her sixth-grade year, said that she got the good news from her classmates this Wednesday morning. “ I didn’t know I had made it until my classmates told me. The wave of joy had washed over me when I learned I made it. All the hard work and time wasn’t for nothing and felt nothing but relief and excitement when I knew.”
JTA Band Director Byron Witham said “Both Blaine and Nyesha are extremely talented musicians. They work hard and strive to be the best they can be. I’m very proud of their accomplishments. Both of these incredible students are assets to our band program.”
Both Borner’s and Desjourdy’s talents are not limited to the band room. Borner has been named Student of the Month twice in the last three years, appeared on the school’s All-A Honor Roll twice, a feat she is destined to repeat again this year, and was a nominee for the Trojan Award, the highest award an Alton Student can receive. Borner’s name has also appeared on the KMEA rolls before, earning 1st Place in last year’s District Solo Ensemble.
While Desjourdy has also made an appearance on the School’s A/B Honor Roll twice, he also has talents on the range, shooting with the Trojan Archery team the last three years. In helping Alton qualify for the NASP State Tournament last year, the first in almost ten years, he also shoots as an individual and placed 3rd at Nationals with Scholastic 3-D Archery (S3DA) last year. This is not Dejourdy’s first time being recognized by the KMEA either, earning a Distinguished rating at last years solo ensemble event.
JTA Principal Kevin Estes said that “We’re very proud of these two, and what they have accomplished as representatives of Alton these last three years, we want to make a better version of ourselves each and every day over here in Vine Grove, and they have done exactly that.”
Borner concluded by saying that “When I was recording the video to audition for All-State Band, I kept retaking the video and self-doubting myself and thinking I wouldn’t make it and I should try doing the All-District band instead, I’m so glad I put myself out there for this.”