Kyra Krachinski, a senior at Michigan City High School, has been selected for the Indiana All-State Honor Band – the first musician in the history of MCHS to be chosen for this prestigious honor, selected from among hundreds of students across the state who auditioned.
All-State Honor Band musicians are selected based on a recorded audition of advanced-level musical pieces. Krachinski’s audition was held in January at Valparaiso High School for a panel of judges who determined the Indiana
All-State Honor Band in a blind selection – not knowing the school affiliation of students auditioning.
Those students from across the state who were chosen for the Indiana All-State Honor Band will participate in a three-day event March 10-12 at Purdue University.
Selected as an alternate during last year’s auditions, Krachinski said she was determined to make it this year. “At first I didn’t think I had the strongest chance of getting accepted, but throughout the process, I had to learn to take it easy on myself and take it one day at a time,” she said. “Getting accepted was a really nice surprise. I made history for Michigan City High School and thought, ‘This is a big deal.’ ”
Frank Gast, band director at Michigan City High School, says Krachinski is “probably the best musician to come out of Michigan City in 30 years,” noting that she is the first City student selected for the Indiana All-State Band since 1987.
She has been part of the MCHS band program since her freshman year, and also played in the band at Barker Middle School. But Krachinski first started playing music as a sixth-grader, teaching herself how to play the flute.
“There were a lot of times I felt crushed, like I wasn’t made to do it,” she said of her early years of learning. “But I pushed through hard times.”
The flute is her instrument of choice – and the one that earned her a spot in the All-State Honor Band – but Krachinski also plays the piccolo and baritone saxophone.
According to Gast, certain instruments lend themselves to transition, noting that a piccolo is a small-size flute, but requires more dexterity, while the fingering style is similar for the flute and the baritone saxophone.
“She’s got perfect pitch. I think you can put any instrument in front of her and she’ll figure it out,” Gast said of Krachinski. “Her success is purely based on the rigorous challenges she has placed upon herself.”
As her band instructor, Gast takes pride in his student for making Michigan City High School history. During his time teaching in Arizona, past students have made it to the All-State level, Gast said, but added that the competition among Indiana schools seems more rigorous.
In addition to her lessons in school, Krachinski also takes private lessons with Trey Bradshaw, a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Krachinski is also currently a student apprentice with the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra. She recalls watching the orchestra perform during field trips to the symphony as an elementary student.
“I loved it so much, and dreamed about playing for them – and now I have made so many top-tier musical memories playing with the symphony.”
She recently competed in the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) solo and ensemble contest along with several other students from Michigan City High School. Krachinski was among four students who earned gold ratings on music of the highest difficulty and advanced to the ISSMA State Solo and Ensemble competition later this month.
In the fall, Krachinski plans to attend Ball State University with a major in Microbiology and a minor in Genetics. Although she isn’t planning a degree in music, she hopes to continue playing in musical ensembles and orchestras during her college years.
“I highly recommend getting involved in music to anyone who is considering it,” Krachinski said. “It is such a great experience and there are so many musical journeys to be taken. Music has helped me in so many ways – it has taught me responsibility and how to work with people, and most important, it has taught me how to push through adversity.”