EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Two students out of Fabens High School are getting recognized for becoming the first students to become a part of both the music program at their school as well as UTEP’s Symphonic Band.

Julian Iglesias and Michael Dettman were able to achieve this after enrolling for a semester at the university after earning their associate degrees.

During their semester at UTEP Iglesias and Dettman were enrolled in a music class that required an audition for the symphony band. They earned their spot in the group and soon faced a challenge of balancing both university and high school band.

“”Well, it’s definitely hard to compete with those kids who have been playing their whole lives and are majoring in music but I feel like I’ve impressed the faculty members there. Me and Julian, we were able to get in through talent and hard work,” Dettman said.

UTEP Associate Band Director Brandon Houghtalen credits the students for taking the initiative and auditioning for the band. With an accelerated coursework and more advanced music, Houghtalen was impressed with their work ethic and musical abilities.

“These students, because they’re so talented and they play so well and they’re so poised and mature, they are excellent ambassadors for Fabens and for their high school and they’re band program,” he said.

As both students are finishing up their senior year of high school, they are learning to balance both extracurriculars. Dettman is pursuing a computer science degree but will continue to perform music as a hobby.

As for Iglesias he is earning a degree in music education so that he can become a band director like those who have mentored him. He wants to be able to guide young musicians like himself so that they can try to achieve what he has.

“It’s a lot but you just take it one day at a time,” Iglesias said. “You take a little bit out of everything and the plate is very full but you don’t eat it all at once. You take bites so you take one step at a time, just make sure you’re on track.”

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