SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

PRESS RELEASE

 

CONTACT:  Tom Whaley                                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 287                                      22 FEB 2008

 

 

SMMUSD Musicians Exemplify World Class Public Education

 

This year, the 59th Annual Stairway of the Stars concert will be held on March 6th and 7th in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. This concert brings the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu together to celebrate the importance of high quality music education in the public schools.
 
With ongoing funding from the state for the last two years, the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District has been able to augment its elementary music staff. The program has been expanded from a "pull-out" program, which only offered instrumental music instruction as an option to some 4th and 5th graders, to a program that provides credentialed music teachers to all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Third graders receive general music instruction once a week fro forty minutes. Fourth and fifth graders receive instruction twice a week for forty minutes, and they can choose between choir, string instruments, or wind instruments.
 
In addition, a state block grant provided music textbooks for all 2nd and 3rd graders, general music instruments, additional band and orchestra instruments, keyboards, wire music stands, iPods, sound systems, and other equipment to support the expanded program.
 
As a result of a strong elementary music program, the middle and high school music programs in the school district are world class. Consistently receiving "Superior" ratings at festivals, the bands, orchestras  and choirs have performed in China, Greece, Italy, the Rudolphinium in Prague, New York City's Carnegie Hall, and Disney Concert Hall.
This year, Santa Monica High School is a finalist for the Grammy Signature School Award, which acknowledges outstanding schools with music education programs. In addition, Ms. Joni Swenson, the Orchestra director at Santa Monica High School, is a finalist
for a Bravo Award honoring outstanding educators in the arts, sponsored by the Los Angeles Music Center.  The Samohi Madrigal Ensemble has been selected as one of four showcase choirs to perform on the stage at Disney Hall on April 18, 2008, as part of Los Angeles Master Chorale's annual high school choral festival.  Over thirty high school choirs from across Los Angeles are participating in the large combined festival chorus under the baton of Los Angeles Master Chorale conductor Grant Gershon.

 
Currently, the Samohi orchestra program is enjoying a partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra which brings professional musicians into the classroom and allows students to attend LA Phil dress rehearsals and performances. After graduation, many SMMUSD music students continue their music education at the finest conservatories and universities in the country.
 
Each year, student musicians have the opportunity to audition for music "honor groups" at the local, statewide, and national levels. The school district is very proud to announce that following have been selected this year:

 

NATIONAL:

ASTA with NSOA National High School Honor Orchestra  (American String Teachers Association with the National School Orchestra Association)
Performance at Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 1, 2008
Samohi students:
Ben Bartelt
Bobby Birstock
Davey Martinez

 

WESTERN UNITED STATES:

ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Western Division High School Honor Choir
(gr. 10-12)
800 students auditioned. Performance in Anaheim on March 1, 2008
Samohi students:
Hannah McGinty
Matteo Fonda-Bonardi
 
ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Western Division Junior High Honor Choir
(gr. 7-9)
Students from California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Hawaii auditioned. Performance in Anaheim on
March 1, 2008
John Adams Middle School students:
Shay Denison
Ariana Kaback
Kaira La Flam
Lincoln Middle School students:
Jackie Murray
Aliza Abarbanel
Audrey Corsa
Isadora Lim
Meghan Aguilar
Alba Kane
Francesca Ferrara
Grace Gordon
Demitrie Martinez
Zacharie Schaefer
 
ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Western Division Children's Honor Choir
Performance in Anaheim on March 1, 2008
Lincoln Middle School Students:
Quinn D'Andrea
April McCollough

 

CALIFORNIA:

CMEA/ACDA All State Honor Choir
1500 students auditioned. Performance in Sacramento on March 15, 2008
Samohi students:
Hannah McGinty
 
CMEA/CODA All State Honor Orchestra
Performance in Sacramento on March 15, 2008
Samohi students:
Ben Bartelt
Pepito Escarce
Emily Wong
David Mun
Sun Kim
Laila Zakzook
Matt Van Pelt
Nicole Negrete
Jean-Michel Maldague
Maki Kubota
Michael Kaplan
Eli Allman
Greg Fiala
 
CBDA (California Band Directors Association) High School All-State Honor Band
Performance at Fresno Convention Center on February 24, 2008
Samohi students:
Garrett Cheung
Richard Dobeck
Roland Templeman
Rebecca Waterhouse
Jared Hammer
Spencer Groh
Greg Fiala
 
CBDA (California Band Directors Association) Junior High School All-State Honor Band
1,500 students auditioned. Performance at Fresno Convention Center on February 23, 2008
John Adams Middle School students:
Cyrus Allahyar
Eli Brown
Lili Cain
Andrew Capron
Jonathan Forsander
Abby Mahler
Skye Menzies-Langabeer
Benjamin Rosenberg
Noah Rosenberg
Benjamin Rotberg
Kyra Sweeney
Lincoln Middle School students:
Sophie Lai
Spencer Danielson
Kevin Guh
Grace Gordon
Katie Leavitt
Zoe Giosa-Hirsch
Nicholas Sardo
Luke Bencivengo
Hanyu Chwe

CODA (California Orchestra Directors Association) Honor Symphony Orchestra
Performance at the University of Redlands on December 8, 2007
Samohi students:
Ben Bartelt (Concertmaster)
Alan Miller
Connor Vance
Ellery Weiss
Emily Wong
Natalie Yadegar
Jennifer Chyu
David Mun
Mayura Jain
Matthew Van Pelt
Tessa Waring
Laila Zakzook (Principal Violist)
Maki Kubota
Jean-Michel Maldague (Principal Cellist)
Dmitri Glickman
Joshua Kalmar
Richard Dobeck
Spencer Groh

CODA (California Orchestra Directors Association) Honor String Orchestra
Performance at the University of Redlands on December 8, 2007
Samohi students:
Alex Clouse
Hannah McGinty
Nicole Woon
Justin Yoo
Christina Kunimoto-Nakajima
Keonjik Lee
Zoe McBride
Emilia Shaffer-Del Valle
Lucy Walsh
Dana Levin
Carolina Vasquez
Omar Cojulun
Alex Davies
Stephanie Farzam
Emily Getoff
Maki Nakamura
Aaron Pomerantz
Rebecca Samuels
Max Tamahori  (Principal Cellist)
Sam Bencivengo
Yarden Shwartz
Erich Wieshofer

 

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA:

SCSBOA (Southern California Band and Orchestra Association) Honor High School Symphony Orchestra.

Performance at Cal State Long Beach on January 27, 2008.
Malibu High School student:
Raquel Ravaglioli
Samohi students:
Matthew Van Pelt
Spencer Groh
 
SCSBOA (Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association) Honor High School Symphonic
Band and Wind Ensemble.

Performance at Cal State Long Beach on January 27, 2008.
Samohi students:
Roland Templeman
Andrew Ohanian
Richard Dobeck
Jared Hammer
 
SCSBOA (Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association) Middle School Honor Band and Honor Orchestra
Over 800 students auditioned. Performances at Citrus College on January 20, 2008
John Adams Middle School student:
Cora Hull
Lincoln Middle School students:
Nick Kennerly
Nicholas Sardo
Hanyu Chwe
 
SCVA (Southern California Vocal Association) High School Honor Choir
500 students auditioned. Performance at Samohi on November 17, 2007
Samohi students:
Hannah McGinty
Brooke Ellis
 
SCVA (Southern California Vocal Association) Junior High/9th Grade Honor Choir - Audition results will be posted on March 7th, performance in May.

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SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138

www.smmusd.org