Henry Clay High Principal Paul Little said if his Lexington school had a point guard or quarterback who was all-state four years in a row, they would have rightly made headlines.
So Little and Henry Clay Director of Bands Bill Kite are only too happy to bring attention to senior Katie Demos.
Katie has made the All-State concert band all four years of her high school career and had the highest score in the state this year finishing as first chair flute in the All-State Symphonic Band.
That’s a rare achievement, Kite said, and he has had only one other student reach it in the last several years.
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Each of the 12 districts of the Kentucky Music Educators Association has a first round audition where they send on qualified students to the final round. The final All-State audition is held in Elizabethtown each year and hosts more than 900 students from all over the state. There are usually over 100 flutes at the final round, Kite said.
“It takes a lot of work and a lot of perseverance,” said Katie, 17. “It’s really just a big process. You have pretty hard music and you have about a month to learn it before your first cut. If you make it past that cut, then you go onto the second cut .. there they determine whether or not you get it and what your rank may be.”
Katie also plays Lacrosse for Henry Clay, she’s a figure skater at the Lexington Ice Center, she is in the National Honor Society and she loves volunteering to tutor kids, she said.
“She’s an outstanding student, she’s very talented and multifaceted,” said Little. He said Katie and students like her who are successful in music “often go unheralded and don’t get the attention they deserve.”
Katie said she is driven by the love of music.
“Oftentimes we go to auditions and we fail or we don’t end up where we think we want to and you just have to get back up and keep going,” she said.
Katie plans to major in flute performance in college.
“Beyond that I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to go or where I will end up,” she said. “I know that music will always be part of my life. Whether or not I pursue a career in music, I know that I will push the arts in the community.”
“I’ve seen recognition go toward those in sports and academics and other areas of life, whereas arts has just kind of been avoided,” Katie said. “But I think it’s the youth that’s going to drive that change.