LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -One MacArthur High School senior says her persistence earned her one of the state's top musical honors.
High school senior and oboe player Lauren Guthridge qualified for the All-State Band. She was the only student in the district to earn the honor this year. However, she says the road to success didn't come easy as she worked over the past several years to overcome her struggle with performance anxiety.
Guthridge says making All-State has been a dream of hers for the past three years. After years of private lessons and encouragement from family, the MacArthur Highlander is finally living her dream.
She's a talented musician with dreams of making it big and seeing her name in lights. Guthridge was one of many local music students who traveled to Altus to compete for the highest award possible that a music student can receive. She made the cut and is now a member of the Oklahoma All-State Band.
"It feels really good. It's also really exciting to be one of the only people to make it in the school," Guthridge said.
Guthridge says music has always been a huge part of her and her family's life. She isn't the only talented musician in the family. Her older brother, Aaron, played the alto saxophone and shares an Oklahoma All-State Band title. She says she had always hoped to follow in his footsteps.
"It actually started back when my brother made it, because I realized that was really fun. He had a lot of fun at that. So, I really wanted to try and make it my senior year. Well, not my senior year, but make it as well so that I could have the same experiences he had," she said.
She says after two failed attempts at All-State, she became discouraged. She says no matter how much she practiced, her fear of the stage kept her from achieving her dream.
"My junior year, I worked really hard on getting over that performance anxiety, because I knew I could play well enough to make it, I just didn't know how to get over that sacredness," she said.
But with support and perseverance, Guthridge says the third time was the charm. She says her supporters were over the moon.
"It feels great. Most people don't realize how grueling the instrumental All-State portion is of this. It's very difficult to make. So, it feels really good to have a student that's worked hard enough and is an example to our other students," Larry Hatch, MHS band director, said.
"My parents are really excited because they have gone through the heartbreak of me not making it and the success of me making it throughout the years, so they're really excited that I was finally able to overcome some of the challenges I had throughout the years," Guthridge said.
She has made All-State Choir the last three years in a row. However, when faced with the decision to choose one, she chose band.