Vela Jazz Band selected as Best in the State

The Vela Middle School Jazz Band has been selected as the Best in the State by Texas Music Educators Association.

This is the second time the Vela Jazz I band has been selected for this award, having previously been awarded in 2020.

“I am incredibly excited and honored to have the opportunity to show our talent at TMEA this year, and I can’t wait to show the audience all the talent my fellow musicians have,” Vela eighth grader and jazz band pianist Iliana Acosta said.

Guitar player Mikayla Galvan, who was part of the recognized Vela Jazz I last year as an eighth grader, is also excited about the opportunity.

“It was thrilling to discover that we were selected to attend TMEA, which is such a prestigious opportunity,” Galvan said. “It was a phenomenal experience that created so many exciting memories that I will not soon forget.”

The ensemble will travel to San Antonio to perform in the 2024 TMEA Clinic and Convention on February 7-10, 2024.

“We are extremely proud of the members of Vela Jazz I for their dedication to our organization and devotion to enriching their own experience,” Vela Jazz I Director Erika R. Uribe said. “Earning this designation, and being recognized as the best in the state, takes a level of profound commitment from not only our students but also our Vela Band families and our whole campus at Moises Vela Middle School.”

The Moises V. Vela Middle School Band Program is led by Erika R. Uribe with assistance from assistant director Philip J. De La Fuente and band consultant Desi Limon, Jr.

Premiering in the Spring of 2014, Vela Jazz I has established itself as an award-winning ensemble. Comprised of seventh and eighth-graders, Vela Jazz I students perform on both primary and secondary instruments. All Vela Jazz I students are members of the Vela Honors Band. In addition to their lives as young musicians, Vela Jazz I students are actively involved in clubs, organizations, and athletics, including serving as student volunteers and student organizational leaders.