SAN GABRIEL, CA – Seven students from Jefferson Middle School have been accepted into the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) regional or state Honor Choirs, prestigious ensembles that offer student musicians the opportunity to work with world-class conductors and perform challenging choral pieces.

“This is a truly special educational experience for our students, and I am proud that so many of them will be part of it this year,” Jefferson choir director Rachel Chew said. “Our students will have the opportunity to learn from peer vocalists and professionals, to see how others sing, conduct and rehearse, and will be exposed to new kinds of music during an intense rehearsal process.”

Jefferson’s visual and performing arts program – which includes a sixth-grade chorus, cantabile choir, concert choir, string orchestras and symphonic bands – provides foundational vocal and instrumental skills, then challenges students to seek new learning opportunities that enhance their fundamental training, such as the ACDA honor choirs. This year, 10 Jefferson choir students auditioned.

Seventh-grader Eric Wang earned a spot in the exclusive ACDA Junior High/Ninth Grade All-State Honor Choir, in which student musicians work with peers from across the state to create and perform a concert of challenging music in less than three days.

“I was surprised but excited to find out I was accepted into the All-State Honor Choir, because it’s a great learning opportunity,” Wang said. “I have been singing since I was a kid because it’s fun, and it will be nice to do something I enjoy at a more challenging level.”

Wang, selected from more than 400 applicants, is Jefferson’s first male choir student to perform with the All-State Honor Choir, and will perform with the ensemble on Feb. 17 for the California All State Music Education Conference in San Jose.

Six students were also accepted into the Western Division Treble Choir and Junior High Choirs. Seventh-graders Maya Colohan and Joanne Li and eighth-graders Paige Dance and Sydney SooHoo will perform with the Treble Honor Choir, while eighth-graders Patricia Atmoko and Josie Sanchez will sing with the Junior High Choir.

These students were selected from more than 700 applicants, and will be the first to represent Jefferson Middle School in the Western Division. Both regional honor choirs will perform March 17 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

“San Gabriel Unified believes the arts are fundamental to a well-rounded education, and we are proud to have our choral students represent the District at regional and state levels,” SGUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pappalardo said.


010318_SANGAB_HONOR: Seven Jefferson Middle School students will perform as part of the prestigious American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) regional or state Honor Choirs. Eric Wang will perform with the Junior High/Ninth Grade All-State Honor Choir on Feb. 17 in San Jose; Maya Colohan, Joanne Li, Paige Dance and Sydney SooHoo will perform with the Western Division Treble Honors Choir on March 17 in Pasadena; and Patricia Atmoko and Josie Sanchez will sing with the Western Division Junior High Choir on March 17 in Pasadena.