Joseph McPherson, a sophomore trombone player at Glen Rose High School (GRHS) was awarded first chair in the state Symphonic band during a statewide competition in February.

From Feb. 11 to 14, high students from schools all over Texas traveled to San Antonio to audition for a spot in the Association of Texas Small School Band’s (ATSSB) Concert or Symphonic bands.

GRHS Band Director Ray Portillo said McPherson’s accomplishment was unprecedented.

“Basically, he’s the best in the state,” Portillo said. “I never even did that and I’ve never had a student make first chair as a sophomore.”

McPherson began playing trombone in the sixth grade, but was introduced to music at a much earlier age. He is well known to many local residents as an excellent fiddle player.

“I would imagine his upbringing in music contributed a lot,” Portillo said. “He’s very talented in music.”

Portillo said McPherson not only has an ear for sound and music, but he is also technically proficient in music theory.

Students from 1A to 3A sized schools participated in the competition. A concert of the students awarded a chair was given on Feb. 14 in San Antonio.