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Rising juniors Kate Sullivan & John Jenkins celebrate All-State Band honors
Kate Sullivan plays flute in the stand during a football game.

When Kate Sullivan and John Jenkins arrived at Gibbons for the first all-school in-person day of learning this year, they had a big surprise. Band director Mark Cashin was thrilled to tell them they had made the All-State Band.

"It was so cool to find out I made it," Kate said. "The pride was real."

The band, composed of the top high school musicians in the state, is highly selective. John, a drumline, jazz club, and pit orchestra member, was just one of four snare players enlisted. Kate was among just 10 flutists. She honed her skills in the pep band, pit orchestra and Tri-M Music Honor Society.

John Jenkins plays snare drum during a recent football game.

"Kate and John both possess a deep passion for music and attention to detail necessary to perform on an All-State level," Cashin said. "Our rising Junior Drum Major and Drumline captain, respectively, they are the musical leaders of our program. I am very proud their hard work and countless hours of practice has paid off."

Inclusion in All-State Band typically includes a clinic capped off by a concert but COVID-19 restrictions led to an even more personal experience — members of the North Carolina Symphony joined the musicians for a Zoom chat and performance.

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