Braxton Koons

Wagoner All-State Jazz musician Braxton Koons. JACI BOWMAN PHOTO

Hard work and dedication to achieve excellence in music performance has earned Wagoner High School trombonist Braxton Koons All-State recognition for 2020.

In mid-January, Koons performed with the Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OKMEA) All-State Jazz Band at the Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa. He called the experience “by far the best” he has enjoyed as a musician. This was his first All-State appearance.

“To me, it’s one of the greatest honors as a musician to be chosen as All-State,” Koons said. “The people there were absolutely fantastic, outgoing and hard working. That definitely includes our world-renowned clinician, Will Campbell.”

The senior instrumentalist, who also plays euphonium for concert band, said he practiced his audition etude nearly every day for six or seven months for a shot at being selected for the All-State Jazz Band.

“The ability to say I played for Will Campbell, or even the OKMEA All-State Jazz Band, and be considered one of the best of the best is phenomenal to me!” Koons exclaimed. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would recommend to anyone interested.”

Koons admits his lifelong goal is to be widely considered as one of the “best of the best” musicians and music educators. He believes earning All-State recognition makes him one step closer to that honor.

At Wagoner High, Koons is involved with the marching, concert and jazz band programs. Outside of school, he is a member of the Green Country Youth Jazz Orchestra directed by Doug Styers and Joe Metzer.

He credits Jeremy Williams, Dave Smith, Katie Dietzel, Sam Quick, Doug and Joe for the opportunity to call himself a member of the OKMEA Jazz Ensemble.

In addition to performing with the All-State Jazz Ensemble, Koons has competed in the Charles Mingus Festival in New York City with Green Country Youth Jazz, performed three years in the MEOBA Concert Honor Band and two years in the MEOBDA Jazz Honor Band.

The honoree is the son of Nancy Hippler and Clint Koons.