“When I think of Eric Dearmin, two things instantly come to mind — his love for his friends and his passion for music.” Ponder High School junior Justin Rippentrop couldn’t be more right. Dearmin seems like your average high school student — he hangs out with his friends, has a part-time job and still manages to get excellent grades. His musical career, however, is his biggest success yet, as he’s made it all the way to the state competition.
The Texas Music Educators Association/Association of Texas Small School Bands state competition begins with a regional audition. You play musical scales and two pieces of music — one for technique and the other for musicality. From there, you can advance to the area band where you can audition to be placed in the state band. From those at the area level, five clarinet players are chosen for their placement in the state band. When describing the experience, Dearmin had this to say, “At each level of the competition, I set my standards low and, every time, I continued to impress myself until I made second chair in the All-State Concert Band.”
All of his teachers were impressed with his dedication and follow-through.
“[Eric] has a big heart. By that, I mean he’s totally committed to pursuing and achieving his goal,” football and powerlifting coach Kevin Pitman said. “I’ve seen it in athletics, I see it in the classroom and it’s obviously demonstrated by his achievements in music.”
“Eric is a fine young gentleman that I look forward to working with,” assistant band director Steven Carnley said. “I am so proud of him.”
Dearmin’s musical ability is spoken highly of among his peers. “If the goddess Aphrodite played the clarinet, that would be Eric,” fellow band member Wesley Vick said.
Junior Austin Jones added that “Eric is one of the most talented young musicians I know.”
“When Eric performs it’s like the angels in heaven are serenading the world,” junior Alissa Gerik said.
Dearmin’s friends are always around to support him, so it’s no surprise that they went all the way to San Antonio for his state concert.
“Having my friends come to support me was incredible,” Dearmin said.
When his closest friends were asked to describe Dearmin, they had only positive things to say.
“Eric is like a box of chocolates; sometimes you hate him, and sometimes you love him. Anytime I need something, he’s always reliable,” Jonathan Aguilar said. “Eric’s only flaw is that he’s too nice. He’s my favorite junior in the world, over my brother.”
Alex Aguilar added, “Eric is like the big brother I never had. He is sincere, nice and funny. He makes up the funniest analogies. Don’t try to argue with him, because he will always win.”
As his junior year comes to an end, Dearmin’s affinity for music continues to grow and his focus on his goals is becoming stronger. He hopes to major in music education at the University of North Texas, and his latest achievements have brought him that much closer to achieving those dreams. We know that Dearmin will continue to strive to be the best, and we have no doubt that he will be prosperous in his every endeavor. Congratulations on all of your success. You continue to impress those around you every day, and we all can’t wait to see the great things you are sure to do in the future.
ALEX FEDELE is a junior at Ponder High School and a participant in the Denton Record-Chronicle’s “Speak Out Loud” program for student journalists.