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ACHS Music hits high note with Ventura County, All-State honor band selections

Adolfo Camarillo High School junior Andre Burton has been selected as a California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC) Honor Jazz Band member, and freshman David Kwon was selected for the CASMEC All-State Symphonic Band.

“It’s such an honor to be included in this opportunity. I can’t wait to play with the band,” Burton said.

Burton, who will play auxiliary percussion in the All-State Jazz Band, is the first student in the ACHS Music Program’s history to be chosen for the jazz ensemble, said ACHS Music Director, Daniel Cook.

“Andre being the only student to earn a place in the All-State Honor Jazz Band is incredible and speaks volumes for his hard work and dedication,” Cook said.

Kwon will play clarinet in the CASMEC All-State Honors Symphonic Concert Band.

Burton and Kwon will travel to Fresno Feb. 19 for the California All-State Music Education Conference, where they will gather with other All-State selected students in their respective ensembles and prepare for concerts on Feb. 21 and Feb. 23 at the William Saroyan Theater near the Fresno Convention Center. The conference is the largest gathering of music educators for the state, and its honor groups are the most prestigious available for students in the state.

In addition to All-State honors, a record seven ACHS Music students will be performing in the Ventura County Honor Band this year. Those students are David Kwon, freshman, and Edison Hanchey, junior, on clarinet; Emily Chang, junior, on flute; Lucas Chomiller, sophomore, on tenor saxophone; and Riley Doane, senior, and Michael Messier and Jacob Speth, both juniors, on percussion.

“I can’t wait to join the group for the second year. I had such a great time last year and met friends from other schools,” said Chang, one of the ACHS drum majors.

Students throughout Ventura County in grades 6-12 auditioned Jan. 8 to earn a place in one of Ventura County’s two ensembles, one for middle school students and one for high school students. Ensemble members prepare a musically challenging repertoire for a Feb. 8 concert at Ventura High School under the baton of guest conductors Shelley Jagow of Wright State University and Anthony Mazzaferro of Fullerton College.

"Learning that this is the highest number of ACHS students to be selected to participate in the Ventura County Honor Band in the ensemble’s 30-year history is a badge of honor for us directors and shows the development we have been striving for in our students,” said Cook.

“Having students audition for honor groups is an important step in a program’s development. We encourage our students to do it so they can further challenge themselves with the same audition material that is typically used for university auditions. Additionally, these students bring this rewarding experience back to the school to make their peers better,” said Cook.

 “We’re incredibly proud of our CASMEC and VCHB member students,” said ACHS Music Director Cameron Guerrero, “and appreciate the example they set for their peers and the reputation they bring to the Music Program.”

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