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'Another achievement': Rockdale ISD recognizes first student named member of all-state band since 1981

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 18:55:48-05

ROCKDALE, Texas — Rockdale ISD is recognizing the first student named to the Association of Texas Small School Bands' all-state band in more than 40 years.

  • Rockdale High School sophomore Destinee Bluford earned a spot in the ATSSB All-State Band.
  • The Texas Music Educators Association recognizes the best high school band students, inviting students to perform during its annual convention.
  • Bluford is the first student from the district who earned the achievement since 1981. Only 8 students have been recognized so far.


"I knew I was kind of good, but I didn’t really expect, especially as a sophomore. I was thinking as a senior maybe, maybe."

Sophomore Destinee Bluford never saw herself making history — especially at her age.

She’s now part of the all-state band — a Texas Music Educators Association program that recognizes the best high school band students, and she owes it to her upbringing.

"I first started like learning music whenever I was in second grade, but even before that I was playing on the piano and stuff," she said. "Whenever I used to go to the football games and I would see the band, it really just made me want to do it.“

Since then, Bluford’s watched musicians like her grandfather play — a source of inspiration.

Now, she’s the first student from Rockdale ISD to earn the achievement since 1981.

"It’s just another achievement for the district and the program. We wish that most students would apply themselves the way Destinee has and the other students who have achieved this because it’s really not something that’s unattainable if you work hard and really apply yourself and focus," Director of Bands Adrian Acevedo said.

But Bluford’s journey doesn’t stop here.

"I definitely want to continue playing the clarinet and learning other instruments and stuff because I just love learning music, and I love everything about music," Bluford said.