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Two PSJA ISD musicians earn spots in All-State Orchestra after virtual competitions 

Photo of Jaysen Garcia and Israel holding their instruments    

Two PSJA ISD orchestra students have each earned a spot in the 2020 TMEA All-State Orchestra after auditioning virtually. 

Each year, more than 70,000 high school musicians across the state audition for chance to be a part of a Texas All-State Ensemble, and this year, PSJA Early College High School Senior Violinist Jaysen Garcia and PSJA Memorial ECHS Junior String Bassist Israel MacDonald were among the lucky few to earn the honor. 

“This is an incredible accomplishment for both musicians,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “Their hard work paid off and they have made our PSJA Community proud.”

MacDonald and Garcia are two of only six orchestra students from the Rio Grande Valley who earned a spot in the prestigious All-State Orchestra. Garcia is also the first violinist at PSJA ECHS to earn this accolade. 

Garcia earned the 55th chair out of 400 violinists and made it to the Philharmonic Orchestra. MacDonald, who also made it to State as a sophomore in 2019, earned 8th chair out of 150 bassists and made it into the Symphony Orchestra.

“Being named a Texas All-Stater is the highest honor a high school musician can achieve,” said PSJA Fine Arts Director Jon Taylor. “This honor is a reflection of not only their amazing talent, but also their strong work ethic and intense desire to excel. Our entire PSJA Family is very proud of both of them and so appreciative of their positive representation of PSJA!”

With health and safety in mind for the students, TMEA has rescheduled the state performance for June 2021. Congratulations to both All-Staters for this amazing feat!