South jazz students play their way to All District honors


Mallorey Daunhauer

Senior TJ Tankersley performs with Panther Regiment during last years half time show.

Calvin Prenkert, Editor

This fall, South athletics have achieved highly, but many may have missed the success of the several band members in the fine arts program who also moved beyond the local level.

This past weekend, several South students performed at Whiteland High School as a part of the Southern Indiana All District Band. Through the Indiana Jazz Educators Association, high school students in the southern half of the state were given the opportunity to spend two days learning, practicing and eventually performing with others who share a similar passion for jazz music.

South had four Jazz Band students who received All District honors. Sophomores Ben LoPilato and Sam Swyers, junior Brayden Wisely and senior TJ Tankersley were all chosen to participate in the All District jazz ensembles.

“I was a little nervous going in, but once I got there it was pretty good,” LoPilato said. “It was really fun, I think it was nice to play with different people.”

LoPilato, a bassist for both the jazz band and the Panther Regiment marching band, felt that the experience gave him a chance to work on honing his ability to learn and perform music in a shorter period.

“It’s interesting because you have such a short amount of time to learn the music,” LoPilato said. “I think it could apply to marching band since we also have a short amount of time to learn that music.”

TJ Tankersley, who plays vibraphone and auxiliary percussion, enjoyed the experience.

“It’s a very fun program. You get an opportunity to play with musicians you would’ve never had the opportunity to [play with],” Tankersley said. “Once you’re in your comfort zone, you kind of already know what’s going on, but this was a whole new experience”

As a senior, Tankersley was happy he had the opportunity to participate in the all district band.  

“This was the first year I’d been [All-District], I wish I’d done it in the past,” Tankersley said.

Only being a sophomore, LoPilato will be able to continue participating in the All District band in the future. “I think it was a worthwhile experience, and I’d like to do it again next year,” LoPilato said.