Out of 1,500 applications, two students from the school have been selected to participate in the All-State honor band and attend a music convention in February. After submitting recorded tracks of their talent, senior Leslie Rogers and junior Jason Hsu were chosen to play in an exclusive band composed of the elite high school musicians of California. They will be attending a convention in Fresno on February 21-24.
“Going [to the convention] is a great goal for the year and makes my high school experience more amazing,” Leslie said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
The convention will be fast-paced, and an entire piece of music will be developed over the course of three days. The first day will consist of further auditions for seating into different bands and the next two days will involve intensive practice of selected pieces. On the last night, Jason and Leslie along with the rest of the band will perform for an audience of parents and music lovers alike. With no prior knowledge of the music that they will play, the band members will still need to perform at their usual high caliber.
Leslie is going for the third time and is still excited to perform in the convention. Having gone as a sophomore and as a junior, she is a seasoned veteran and is familiar with the intensity of the convention.
“You give up part of your vacation to spend 10 hours out of a few days to play music, so you really have to love it,” Leslie said.
After playing the clarinet for seven years, Leslie has found her passion in music. From fifth grade band to the high school wind ensemble, she has found a particular love for her instrument. She hopes to take her music to a college level concert band and wants to pursue a degree in music.
Jason has played the piano for nine years and the flute for four years. A member of Wind Ensemble since sophomore year, Jason was ecstatic to hear that he had made it onto the honor band this year.
“It’s my first year,” Jason said. “This year I’m just really happy to attend.”
One of his aspirations for the future is to start conducting for a band at some point. With his mastery of the piano and history of playing the flute for the honor band, he is more than qualified. In some of his free time, he gives lessons to family friends at their houses and hopes to build on that experience.
“I wish to follow my music into college for a minor at the least,” Jason said. “It’s just something that you can enjoy in your free time for the rest of your life.”
From conducting to teaching, Jason looks to pursue his music in the future and keep it as a pastime and maybe as a career.