Noah Semsar selected to play with All-State Symphony Orchestra


Courtesy Noah Semsar

Noah Semsar poses with his trumpet. Semsar was named to be the first chair trumpet player for the Texas Music Educators Association’s All-State Symphony Orchestra at its annual convention in San Antonio in mid-February.

Junior Noah Semsar is the “best high school trumpet player in the State of Texas.”

That’s how Thomas Mann, Akins Fine Arts Department Chair, described Semsar’s achievement of not only being named to be the first chair trumpet player for the Texas Music Educators Association’s All-State Symphony Orchestra at its annual convention in San Antonio in mid-February.

Being named to an All-State orchestra is the highest honor a Texas high school music student can receive. More than 70,000 high school students across the state auditioned in their TMEA Region, starting each fall. Individuals performed selected music for a panel of judges who ranked each instrument or voice part.

Only a select group of musicians advanced to compete against musicians from other Regions in their TMEA Area. The musicians who perform best were judged at the TMEA Area competitions and qualify to perform in one of 18 Texas All-State ensembles sponsored by the Band, Orchestra, and Vocal Divisions. Only the top 2.5% of musicians who initially audition end up as All-State musicians.
Semsar participated in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally-recognized conductors, and then perform for thousands of attendees to close the convention on Feb. 18 at the Henry B. González Convention Center.

Semsar, who has been playing trumpet for about 5 and half years, said he got his start in the sixth grade when his band instructors noticed he had a natural talent for playing the instrument. He said he hopes to attend Baylor University or the Curtis Institute of Music, which provides free tuition for any student that makes it in.

Being involved with the Akins marching band and full orchestra has taught Semsar a lot as a musician and helped him connect with other like-minded students.

“It kind of just taught me to be friends with people and make friends. It’s very, like hard work,” he said.

Assistant band director Jose Flores said he knew right away that Semsar that was talented when he first met him during summer band camp.

“Immediately I knew that the student loved to play the trumpet,” he said. “He was very good at the trumpet even at the time, but his work ethic is what brought him to accomplish what he just did.

Semsar, who practices on average three to four hours a week, said he doesn’t mind putting in hours of practice.

“It’s kind of just on autopilot for me these days,” he said. “I like doing it so it doesn’t really feel like I’m practicing. I’m just kind of playing.”

Flores said Semsar’s work ethic has had a positive influence on other students in the Akins marching band and orchestra groups.

“Noah is a very inspiring student because he takes his music-making very seriously,” he said. “And it inspires the students around him to take it seriously as well. He was able to achieve what he did because of his love of music and his sense of belonging in the band. So I believe that if I am able to offer that same experience of love for music and belonging in the band in this community, then other students will be set up to be successful, just like Noah.”

Semsar said he hopes to keep playing trumpet after high school.

“I would like to be a performer and an orchestra and then later in life, maybe do a professor kind of job and teach lessons around here or wherever I’m living,” he said.