Pampa’s Korbin Cole earns second-seat at State for second time

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Pride of Pampa Band’s junior Korbin Cole enjoyed a trip to San Antonio for the second time as he earned Second Chair at the All-State Band.

“In December we tried out for All-Region and played two etudes (fundamental music pieces) and some scales and you are ranked to determine if you advance to Area,” Cole said. “I earned First Chair for the Region Band, and at Area we went through the same process.

“I placed third at Area but in the All-State contest we played excerpts for our pieces. Whoever plays it the best gets the highest chairs. I earned Second-Chair.”

Cole, who plays trombone, was able to play in the band with other musicians from across the state in 4A-6A bands.

At the convention center, Cole did get some time to relax and take in being at the State Convention.

“It’s a big place with all of these booths set up,” Cole said. “I was able to take my mouthpiece and if it fit, you could plug it into all of these different instruments. I was able to pick up a professional-grade trombone with $5,000 and play it.

“There are other booths like college booths and Drum Corp. International. You also get to explore Downtown San Antonio including the Riverwalk, the Alamo, etc. It’s a lot of fun.”

Cole was also one of the drum majors for the Pride of Pampa Band and, along with fellow drum major Kate Smith, was a big part of the Pampa band.

“We always tried to be there to support them (others in the band) and I think our hard work paid off,” Cole said. “Hopefully it serves as an inspiration to others. It’s hard to be a drum major and not be able to practice (your instrument). When you’re a drum major, you never have time to practice. Fortunately, I had these wonderful choir directors to let me practice while they were doing their own thing.”

Cole said Band Director John Benton has been more than just a teacher to him.

“He has served as a father-figure to me,” Benton said. “Growing up I didn’t have a dad. I can say that for all of the band directors. They’ve been my father figures. They’ve always inspired me to keep going in music. They give me that push or motivation to keep going when I’m burned out. I don’t think I’d still be in band without any of them.”

Benton said he and the rest of the Pride of Pampa Band is proud of Cole.

“Korbin Cole accomplished one of the most challenging achievements available to a high school band member – making the Texas All-State Band,” Benton said.

“He did this not once, but for the second time this year. Further, not only did he earn a place in the All-State Band, but he earned 2nd chair overall in the trombone section, 2nd chair in the state of Texas.

“His wonderful musicianship is credit to years of hard work and we, in the band program, are extremely proud of him and how well he has represented both the band and the community.”

After high school, Cole hopes to attend West Texas A&M University for music education and wouldn’t mind coming back to Pampa to teach music. He is also considering going to get his masters degree from University of Washington or University of Minnesota. His overall goal is to get a doctorates in musical arts.

The Pampa News would like to congratulate Korbin Cole on a this prestigious honor.

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