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Dozens of LO students place in honors groups

Pacers and Lakers earn seats in All-State and All-Northwest music ensembles

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lakeridge's All-State orchestra honor group members include, from left: (back row) Carlo Mery, Eliott Wells, Nora Cyganiak and Harrison Schaffer; and (front row) Albert Wang, Scott Hermanns, Maggie Wu and Bettine Rehr-Zimmermann.Almost four dozen student musicians in the Lake Oswego School District have been named to the 2015 All-State and All-Northwest honor groups.

To earn a spot in the All-State groups, students compete against musicians from across Oregon; for All-Northwest, the competition includes Oregon and extends to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming. In January and February, some of the groups will perform at concerts in Eugene, others in Spokane, Wash. Both the Pacers and the Lakers will be represented.Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego High School All-State musicians included Rachel Bard, voice; and Denny Shin, voice.

“It is an honor to get accepted to All-Northwest honors orchestra 2015,” says Sunny Oh, a senior at Lake Oswego High School. “We are all excited to perform in Spokane this February, and it will be a great experience for all of us.”

Auditions are blind; students send in recordings of vocal or instrumental pieces to the Oregon Music Education Association or the Northwest Division of the National Association for Music Education. Recordings are then presented anonymously to judges. So, students earn their All-State or All-Northwest spots solely on the strengths of their musical gifts and skills.

When Spencer Schaffer, a junior at Lakeridge High School, nabbed places in All-Northwest and All-State — a difficult feat — he felt it validated his hard work in private lessons and at school rehearsals with band director Corey Alston.

“I’ve been playing for five years now, and it’s cool, the progress I’ve made and where I’ve been able to go with my instrument and my music,” Schaffer says.

High school All-State honor groups include symphonic band, wind ensemble, men’s choir, women’s choir, orchestra and jazz band. Junior high All-State groups are chosen in band, choir and orchestra; All-Northwest groups include treble choir, mixed choir, band and orchestra.Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Several Lake Oswego High School students earned a place in All-Northwest, including, from left, violinists Julliana Yoon, Maia Lee, Sunny Oh and Samuel Fu. In addition, many LOHS and Lake Oswego Junior High students were in All-State.

Alston says having almost four dozen students in honors groups is an impressive turnout, especially for a district that is not among the largest in the state. He also says it’s a good opportunity for young musicians to build skills — without a contest to win.

“It’s nice that while schools also compete against each other so much during the year, this is a time when they all come together and work together,” Alston says. “It’s not about competing; it’s about recognizing that the music in this whole district is strong, so we should celebrate that.”

Also, award winners aren’t alone when it comes to toiling for love of music. Every high school musician logs many hours running scales or advancing music-reading skills.Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Several Lakeridge students earned a place in All-State honor band, including, from left: Greg Conan, Sophie Koh, Louis Bourque, Nick Abbott, Owen Kaufmann and Spencer Schaffer (also All-Northwest). Many Lakeridge and Lakeridge Junior High students earned a place in an honor group.

“The singers and instrumentalists representing LOHS at All-State and All-Northwest are truly a reflection of the larger community of musicians at the school,” notes Megan Perdue, Lake Oswego High School director of choral studies. “They are hard-working, dedicated and kind. I am incredibly proud of them and grateful to work with such incredible students every day. There is no better reward than watching my students live their passions, and I can’t wait to be in the audience cheering them on.”

By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
email: jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com
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