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CMS and SMS students perform in CMEA honor concert

CMEA Honor Choir CMS SMS 2023

Nine students from Columbia and Sunnyvale middle schools were selected to perform in the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section Winter Conference concert on January 7. The CMEA Winter Conference concert featured the honor choir, honor band, and honor orchestra made up of students from schools all around the Bay Area and Central Valley. To perform in the concert, first, the students learned the music, then they rehearsed with the other students for two long days, and then they performed the concert.

CMS eighth-graders Dani Maciel, Miranda Nelson, and Addison Silberman  and SMS seventh-graders Brooklyn Cormier, Charvi Indukuri, Prisha Jain, and Sofia Espinoza were among the 120 students selected to sing in the honor choir.

The choir performed “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” arranged by Andre J. Thomas; “Heartbeat” by Kyle Pederson, “If Not for Music” by Ron Kean; “When Our Voices Rise” composed by Stuart Chapman Hill; and “Adorable Flujo” by Paul Basler and lyrics by Gabriel Navar.

“CMEA was a really fun experience where we had the opportunity to be professionals all while still having fun. We made new friends, got to explore the campus, as well as perform some truly beautiful songs,” said Dani.

“Honor choir was such an amazing learning experience. I learned more about music and got to keep working on my sight-reading abilities. I also met lots of new friends and now I feel so much more comfortable and confident singing in groups,” said Miranda.

“Performing in the CMEA honor choir was a learning experience because it was the first time I sang with the lower octave singers. This is an experience I will remember for years to come and I am so glad that I was given this great opportunity,” said Addie.

“It was amazing to see how many voices came along in harmony while practicing for only one and a half days. It was also a great way to interact with people from other schools. Overall, it was definitely a fun way to start the year!” said Prisha.

Claire Ishimatsu, an SMS eighth-grader, played in the flute 1 section for the Conference Honor Band. The honor band played “Epic Venture” by Tyler Grant, “An American Original” by Rob Grice, “Autobahn” by Ryan George, and “Flying Cadets” by Karl King.

“This was my first time playing in an honor band, and I really enjoyed it! I got to meet musicians from different schools across the Bay Area, and play some fun music! One of my highlights was performing at the San Jose State Music Hall for the final concert. I am also very thankful for the wonderful music program at SMS and Mr. Ancheta for this experience,” said Claire .

SMS’ Aisla Pohjola, also an eighth-grader, played in the violin 1 section in the Conference Honor Orchestra. Congratulations to Aisla for winning a scholarship to La Honda Music Camp!

The Conference Honor Orchestra played “Morning Mood,” “Aaese’s Death,” and “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from “Peer Gynt Suit No. 1 Opus 46” by Edvard Grieg, arranged by Carrie Lane Gruiselle; “Finale” from Franz Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 27; and “A Pirate’s Legend” by Soon Hee Newbold.

Listen to snippets from the Honor Concerts by clicking on the video below! Video credit Charles Ancheta.


Article by SMS Music Instructor Charles Ancheta and Lighthouse Blue Communications Consultant Dyan Chan.

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