2017 marks the third year in a row that Makayla West has made it into the Alabama All-State Band.
Makayla has lived in Piedmont all her life and is the child of Kevin and Lisa West. She is a senior at Piedmont High School where she plays the flute in the band and has also been a drum major for two years.
Her love for music started before high school, though. Makayla has been playing the flute for seven years. Five of those years she has taken lessons from the flute professor at Jacksonville State University. When asked why she loves band so much and has stayed with it all these years, she said, “I just love getting to know all of the people and working with them and learning their personalities.”
This love has gotten her to her third year with the Alabama All-State Band. She auditioned on Jan. 14 and made fourth chair out of six. In the audition she had to play two songs. The first song was lyrical, but the second song was more technical and faster, which she said was harder.
The All-State Festival will be held April 6-8 in Montgomery, and on the last day there will be a concert in which Makayla will perform. Since she’s been doing this for a few years now, she’s no longer scared. “I’m looking forward to it. I enjoy getting to meet people from all over the state,” she said.
Makayla will get the chance to meet even more people in the fall when she starts her first year at Jacksonville State University. She plans to earn a degree in music education and has already started practicing for her audition for the Marching Southerners which she thinks will be sometime in March.
Her parents are incredibly supportive of her and her musical goals and achievements. “They come to every concert and audition,” Makayla said. They have a lot to be proud of, though. Makayla is also in the National Honors Society, was chosen for Girls State (a program that teaches leadership skills and shows students how their government works), has participated in the JSU Honor Band and the Calhoun County Honor Band since ninth grade and was elected homecoming queen this past fall.
The flute is still her main focus, but she said that in the future she will probably branch out and try other instruments. “I was never really into sports. This is all I do, and I love it,” she said.