Practice pays off for school honor band selections |

Practice pays off for school honor band selections

Penny Stewart
Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune / South Tahoe High School students who were selected for the All-State Honor Band are, from left, Earl Peck, Troy Mikanovich and Bryan Kurek.

Once again in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District, numerous students auditioned for and received honor band appointments.

The students took on the challenges of putting forth extra hours necessary to practice the audition material, making an audiotape, and submitting it for honor band group competition. The honor band recognition proves that our students are not only talented and dedicated but, as described by one guest conductor, “they exude passion, energy and enthusiasm.”

Extensive studies have shown that music education enhances brain functions, improves reading and math performance, raises test scores, builds teamwork, enhances cooperation and commitment, and thus helps prepare children for the future. Due to the support of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District and the dedication of instructors, JJ Clause and Linda Kurek, we are fortunate to have a high-quality music education program in the area of instrumental music for students in grades five through 12.

This year nine South Tahoe Middle School and six South Tahoe High School instrumental music students had the honor and privilege to enrich their music education by participating in these regional and state honor bands. Honor Band is an opportunity made possible to band students in California by the California Music Educators Association and the California Band Directors Association.

During the road-closing snowstorms of January, the STMS students, along with several STHS students, braved the conditions to participate in the Capital Section Honor Bands. This event took place at the Sheldon High School Performing Arts Center in Elk Grove, Jan. 8. The Middle School Honor Band was under the direction of Johnny Johnson, director of music at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill. Dr. Ann Porter of the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music conducted the High School Honor Band.

The STMS students participating in this year’s honor band were Dayne Carmichael, Kyle Dupree, Willie Ervin, Melissa Ewing, Catie Kushner, Rand Norberg, Laura Sears, Amy Wilson and Michael Wright. Norberg was named first chair and received a music camp scholarship and Kushner led the percussion section.

Participating in the Capital Region Band from STHS were Mark McCulloch, Troy Mikanovich, Earl Peck and Nick Stewart. Peck and Mikanovich were named first chairs and Mikanovich was awarded a summer camp music scholarship. In addition to McCulloch, Peck, Mikanovich and Stewart, Kyle Conroy and Bryan Kurek were named to the NorCal Honor Band. Once again, Mikanovich and Peck were named first chairs for their respective sections, and Peck was awarded a summer music camp scholarship for his efforts. Named to the All-State Band were Kurek, Peck and Mikanovich. Kurek was recognized at both the NorCal and All-State events for achieving the distinguished honor of being a four-year member of each of these bands and was awarded a summer camp scholarship at the All-State Honor Band.

The Northern California High School Honor Band performed Feb. 5 at Humboldt State University’s Van Duzer Theater under the direction of Dr. Royce Tevis of California State, Chico. The California All-State High School Honor Bands performed Feb. 20 at the Saroyan Theater in Fresno and were under the direction of Professor John Maltester of Los Medanos Junior College, Professor John Carnahan of Long Beach State University, and Professor Robert Ponto of the University or Oregon. The students value the opportunity provided by honor band and were proud to represent their community at these events. We are fortunate to have been represented in such stellar fashion

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