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Montebello High Hosts District Music Festival

Event Features Over 1,000 Los Angeles Area Band and Orchestra Students

MONTEBELLO– Music ensembles across Los Angeles County converged at Montebello High School for a full-day music festival on March 26 to showcase their talents while gaining valuable feedback from qualified and trained experts in music education.

For more than six decades, Montebello High has hosted the band and orchestra festival, which is sponsored by the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. This year, the event featured 800 Montebello Unified students from 14 bands and orchestras at seven schools, including Eastmont Intermediate, Montebello Intermediate, Suva Intermediate, Bell Gardens High, Montebello High and Schurr High. Additionally, ensembles were represented from San Gabriel High, South El Monte High, Redondo Union High and La Mirada High.

“Providing a thorough educational experience for our students means not only offering rigorous instruction in math, science and English-language arts, but also offering co-curricular activities and other programs that help them to explore their talents and abilities,” said MUSD Board of Education President David Vela. “Through the art of music, our students are learning about dedication, perseverance — all essential elements to reach success.”

Consistent with the five components of the California State Framework for the Visual and Performing Arts, K-12 musical festivals are meant to: help students express themselves and further their music development; explore the historical and cultural backgrounds of music; think critically about a musical experience; to see and listen to their peers perform; and to develop creative, problem-solving and communication skills that contribute to their lifelong learning.

“It is very exciting to see students, parents, educators and the community engaged in the support and performance of music,” said Shaun Kuri, Montebello High School’s festival host. “It reminds me that an education in the arts can energize a student’s soul, as well as their mind, and give all of those involved an experience they will cherish for the rest of their lives.”

Following each performance, ensembles had the opportunity to receive a clinic from one of three adjudicators in Montebello High’s band room. There, the musical experts spent 20 to 25 minutes providing students with an evaluation of their performances, where they excelled and ways in which they can improve.

The following groups received an Overall Superior Rating, the highest marks possible for outstanding performances: La Merced Intermediate School Advanced Band, Montebello High School String Orchestra, Montebello High School Concert Band, Schurr High School Symphonic Band.

The following groups received an Overall Excellent Rating, representing a performance approaching superior quality: Eastmont Intermediate School Concert Band, Bell Gardens High School Concert Band, Bell Gardens High School String Orchestra, La Merced Intermediate School Advanced Orchestra and the Schurr High School String Orchestra.

“We are so proud of all our students,” said MUSD Superintendent of Education Susanna Contreras Smith. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be involved in these types of programs and there’s no doubt that it is all paying off as these students learn essential skills that will continue to serve them well not only throughout their education, but throughout their lives.”