Highland High School senior Caitlyn Mooty plays a snare drum.

Courtesy | Amy Arnett-Tomasek

The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) holds auditions for its top honor band every spring with a performance the next February at the OMEA Professional Development Convention. The audition materials are released in March, the recordings are due in May, and the student gets notified at the end of August.

The audition process is grueling and requires the student to submit several audio recordings of three advanced musical excerpts and an advanced solo. These recordings must be in one take and be virtually perfect to make the cut.

Out of 1,200 applicants around the state, only 97 were chosen to represent the absolute best high school musicians in the entire state of Ohio. That is approximately an 8% acceptance rate. Just to put that number into perspective, our beloved TBDBITL is very hard to get into, and they have a 57%-68% acceptance rate depending on the number of applicants.

The Highland Local School District is proud to announce that Caitlyn Mooty, a senior at Highland High School, has been accepted into the 2024 OMEA All-State Band. Caitlyn is the first student from Highland ever to be accepted into this prestigious group. Mooty is ranked 4th chair in the state of Ohio. Eight percussionists were accepted, with only three being girls.

Mooty has been a member of the Highland Marching Band for five years (center snare), Concert Band since sixth grade, and Pep Band for five years. She has participated in many honor bands around the state, including Ohio Wesleyan University Honor Band and OMEA District 10 Honor Band held at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Mooty has taken a solo at OMEA Solo and Ensemble Competition every year she has been involved in the music program. She was also an integral part of the Highland Marching Band’s success for the past two years at the state competition.

Mooty plans on majoring in music performance at either Berklee College of Music, John Hopkins University or Vanderbilt University. She would also like to join a drum and bugle corp with Drum Corps International in the near future. Mooty enjoys playing music, reading, coaching softball, wrestling on the HHS wrestling team, and playing games with her little brother, Drennyn.

“I’ve waited years for my hard work to pay off, and now that I’ve seen that it truly has, I believe I can do anything I put my mind to,” Mooty said.

Submitted by Highland Band Director Amy Arnett-Tomasek.