Grand County brother and sister both play in all-state bands |

Grand County brother and sister both play in all-state bands

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Tonya Bina/ Sky-Hi Daily NewsSiblings Mason and McKayla Jackson have both been accepted to all-state honor bands this year. A member of the high school band, Mason attends Middle Park High School. McKayla attends East Grand Middle School where she plays with the middle school band.

A brother and sister from East Grand Schools will each play in an all-state band this year.

“It’s their niche,” said mother Jeanne Jackson of her daughter McKayla’s and son Mason’s musical inclinations.

McKayla, 13, has been accepted as one of 15 clarinetists from Colorado to play in the CU Middle School Honor Band in late February. The honor includes performing in concerts during the weekend.

And Mason, 16, whose primary instrument is the trombone, has earned a place on the All-State Jazz Band in Colorado Springs, due to perform Jan. 28-30. Out of hundreds of Colorado students who auditioned via recorded video, Mason will be seated second chair.

And in April, Mason will travel to Greeley to perform with the All-State Concert and Symphonic Band. Mason was selected out of a live audition in Summit County where 875 students auditioned from 152 Colorado high schools. The band is made up of 102 musicians from 50 high schools.

Mason has also performed at the Best of the West Music Festival in Grand Junction, where he was second chair out of 19 trombonists from across Colorado, and he performed in the Honor Jazz Band in Carbondale.

“They always say it must be a freak thing because neither of them play any music,” McKayla said of her parents.

“They really love music. They certainly didn’t get it from my husband or me,” mom Jeanne said.

McKayla likes to “sound out” music, she said, and then attempt to play it on a piano or keyboard. Last summer, she added soprano saxophone to her choice of instruments, and says she eventually wants to “try all the instruments.”

Mason, who has been playing the trombone for five years, also plays the tuba.

For both instruments, “it’s started to come more naturally,” he said. “But you can tell when I practice.”

With tentative plans to continue their involvement in music beyond the high-school level, the siblings each take private lessons. McKayla learns from East Grand Middle School Director Dana Jellick and Mason from Dr. Sean Flanigan, professor of low brass at Mesa State College, and James Knapp, band director at Steamboat Springs.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail