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All-State Stop for Oswego Musician

Oswego High School senior Mason Rabalais is congratulated by Band Director Bill Palange as the student has been selected to this year’s New York State School Music Association All-State Wind Ensemble
Oswego High School senior Mason Rabalais is congratulated by Band Director Bill Palange as the student has been selected to this year’s New York State School Music Association All-State Wind Ensemble

Oswego High School senior Mason Rabalais has been selected to the elite the New York State School Music Association All-State Wind Ensemble in Rochester.

Rabalais, a trombone player, said , “This means quite a bit to me. I’ve worked really hard to get here and I hope we have a lot of fun.”

Band Director Bill Palange was proud of the selection. He said, “ There are about 3,500 students who audition for a position in the band, chorus and orchestra. There are only a certain few who are selected. This is a significant achievement for a high school student particularly on trombone.”

Continuing he said, “This is interesting as Mason has made all-state both years he auditioned. He was previously in the symphonic band and now the wind ensemble which is the most select of groups. This is a significant achievement of Mason and a nice recognition for all of his hard work.”

Involvement in school activity was important when Mason was in elementary school. He said, “My parents told me I had to participate in an activity. An orchestra teacher came in and played all the different instruments. I said I wanted to do music. That is when I took up the trombone.”

Interestingly, Palange is also a trombone player who noted, “My parents wouldn’t let me play drums so I play trombone and never looked back.”

He has worked with Rabalais throughout high school and noted, “I am probably more critical in being that I also play trombone. have seen many outstanding trombone students in my career and Mason ranks right up there with the very best I have ever had. He is a great musician, reads very well and more than anything else makes good music. I think that is what allowed him to be in the position for this all-state group. He is very mature well beyond his years musically.”

In summary, reflecting on why he plays a trombone Rabalais noted, “It’s loud, lots of fun and I get to make a lot of noise.”

Music will always be a part of life for Mason Rabalais. However, he noted, “I hope to go into the Navy. My applications with the U.S. Naval Academy and ROTC are pending, but I hope to go into the Navy and major in Chemistry.”

Mason is the son of Greg and Kay Rabalais and has two brothers Morgan and Mitchell. He is a diver on the Oswego High School swimming team and plays electric bass in a “little jazz combo” outside of school.

Mason Rabalais is representing Oswego in all-state and earned this selection to a very elite group. What is “noise” to him was music in the ears of the judges who listened to his audition.