Students pursuing their musical dreams

The All-Southern California Honor Orchestra (ASCHO) consists of students selected by the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA). To join this group, students such as sophomore Noah Pacis practice extensively to prepare themselves for a live audition in front of a judge. Eventually those with the highest scores are able to rehearse with fellow musicians for a concert later in the week.

“I have participated in this orchestra before, and I really enjoyed the experience,” Pacis said. “Since this experience only lasts for three days, we perform only one concert on the third day. The other two days are used for long rehearsals in preparation.”

Like ASCHO, the All-Southern California Honor Band (ASCHB) consists of students selected by the SCSBOA, but under a different category: band. This year junior Jennifer Lee, freshman Margaret Lee and sophomore Karen Smith were selected to join the group. After continuous practice, the auditions were finally held in December of last year.

“I practiced a lot to get in… and this is my first year [joining All-Southern California Honor Band],” Smith said. “I wanted to get into as many honors bands as I could, because I want to do music as my career.”

The All-State Honor Orchestra (ASHO) also consists of students selected by a separate organization called the California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). Unlike the SCSBOA, students from all over California auditioned.This year, after attending auditions from last December, sophomore Annie Chang, junior Phoebe Kim and sophomore Jeffrey Yang qualified for the All-State Honor Orchestra.

“I auditioned for the first time this year, and I got in,” Kim said. “[I joined because] I love the violin.”

The All-State Honor Band (ASHB) is selected by the California Band Directors Association (CBDA). Due to the larger number of positions available, the number of applicants significantly increased with over 1,800 applicants. This created an even more intense challenge for those wanting to join ASHB, such as junior Jennifer Lee who was successful in doing so.

“It is very intense but very enjoyable to play with musicians that [have] as much interest as I do,” Lee said. “The feeling of agreement and harmony when playing a movement with this group is indescribable.”