North Tahoe band students doing big things | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe band students doing big things

Dean Nordby
Special to the Sun

The students pictured with Edward Harris, from bottom row to the top, from left, are Bonnie Goslin, clarinet; Grace Lindemann, clarinet; Annie Thompson; percussion, Logan McDonald; trumpet; Jackson Shaw, clarinet; John Humphreys, trombone; and Ryan Heisinger, trombone, with Dean Nordby.

North Tahoe High School musicians performed in a spectacular concert Jan. 10. The Capitol Honor Band consisted of the top high school musicians from the greater Sacramento area.

Under the direction of San Jose State University's Doctor of Music, Edward Harris, the students performed a remarkably complicated series of musical works that challenged these students to rise to levels that are seldom requested of high school students.

And rise they did. It was a true example of what happens when quality compositions, a terrific director and gifted students come together.

The event covered four days. Monday night, the selected students traveled to Cosumnes River College to present their material before judges to be placed in seat order and then rehearsed the selections.

We got home at midnight, only to have these students ready for Jazz Band class at 6:20 the next morning. Thursday after school, these students went back to Sacramento to work with Harris for the next two days, culminating in a public concert at Sheldon High School.

These students were further recognized for musical excellence by being accepted to perform in the Northern California Honor Band, known as "NorCal," on Feb. 5-7 at Chico State University, where Doctor Robert Ponto from the University of Oregon worked with NorCal's top musicians.

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Top honors go to Ryan Heisinger for being accepted to the All-State Band and John Humphreys for acceptance to the All-State Orchestra. It is quite the achievement to make these prestigious bands.

I am very proud of these students' accomplishments. Their hard work and desire have elevated them to extremely high levels of music achievement, and their efforts have helped to shape the North Tahoe Music Department into being one of the top small schools in the state.

Thanks to them, a caring community and an administration that sees music as a valuable course offering, it makes it a pleasure to be associated here at North Tahoe High School.

Dean Nordby is Director of Bands at North Tahoe High School.