Amanda Haussmann becomes two-time all-state musician

Haussmann+played+the+Clarinet+1+part+at+the+All-State+concert+on+April+9%2C+2022

Alaina Patel

Haussmann played the Clarinet 1 part at the All-State concert on April 9, 2022

Alaina Patel, Staff Reporter

‘It’s never too late to start’ is a statement embodied by Southern Lehigh musician Amanda Haussmann. After picking up the clarinet in seventh grade, only five short years ago, she has since qualified for the PMEA All-State Band not once, but twice – a feat made more impressive because of how humble she is about her accomplishments.

“At first I didn’t really think much of it because of the people I’ve heard play at districts,” said Houssmann, a senior. “The more I think about it, it’s really interesting because so few people at Southern Lehigh have made it twice or even once at all, so it’s kind of surreal.”

This year’s All-State festival for concert band kicked off on April 7th with rehearsals at East Stroudsburg High School South, and culminated with a concert on April 9 at the Kalahari Convention Center. Buses carried students from the convention center to the school each day for rehearsals.

“All of the ensembles meet up after having already gotten the music a month before, so we all should know our music,” Houssmann said prior to the festival. “We sit down for around five hours at a time in around four total rehearsal sessions for each group and make the music as good as it can be. It’s a lot of fun.”

Making All-State Band is a multi-step process. Students must first audition for and make it to district band, after which they audition for the regional band. At regionals, they must audition yet again to make the All-State Band. 

After all of these auditions, Haussmann is one of twenty-four students in the clarinet section, but one of only eight playing the Clarinet 1 part in the All-State Band. The first clarinet part is one of three parts within the entire clarinet section and is typically given to the most proficient clarinetists. This is a testament to Amanda’s skill as a musician.

“I think I have a pretty good idea of how music works and music theory, and that definitely helps a lot,” she said. “Even if I don’t right off the bat know how to play something like an excerpt, I can still look at it and figure out what it’s trying to get across and then I can adapt it for the way that I need to play it.”

Playing at such a high level, Haussmann spent plenty of time practicing the music given to her in preparation for the all-state rehearsals. Over her years playing the clarinet, she has found a practice routine that she finds works for her. 

“I sit down and look at the things I specifically need to practice, whether that’s for each ensemble or solo pieces,” Haussman said. “I tend to look at the parts that need it the most and really really focus on them. Sometimes I can spend an hour on a few measures.”

In addition to her personal drive to improve, she attributes some of her success to the environments in which she’s been throughout her music career. 

“I think it is my lessons with Ms. Marston,” Haussman said. “I also really do think it’s the high school’s music program. Without the program and the opportunities I’ve had, I don’t think I would be as good at interpreting music.”

Despite her late introduction to the clarinet, Haussmann established herself through passion and determination as one of few top Southern Lehigh musicians to make all-states twice.