ESUSD Band Stars Compete in February

El Segundo Musicians Travel to Fresno 

February 23rd performance promises to be spectacular achievement


El Segundo, CA – January 18, 2013 – Three El Segundo student musicians competed against the “best of the best” throughout the state to win a spot in the upcoming All-State Honor Band Concert in Fresno, California, on February 23.

Kathleen Moran (bassoon), an ESMS student, along with ESHS students Christian Alva (tenor sax) and James Dahl (trumpet) will represent El Segundo during this prestigious event.  Auditioning with more than 1600 fellow California students, these three triumphed in the audition – a rigorous process consisting of a recording containing extremely challenging scales and a solo.

 Kathleen, Christian and James will spend two days in rehearsal before the concert the night of the 23rd.  This performance constitutes a “once in a life-time event” according to Tony Bancroft, Band instructor at El Segundo Middle School.  Bancroft elaborates. “This will be a potentially life-changing experience for all the musicians attending.  It is eye-opening for our musicians to sit in with, and perform with, the best and brightest musicians from the entire state.” 

Edie Rice, Education Director for the El Segundo Community Band, knows all three musicians well.  “James has been playing his trumpet since he was in elementary school and was a member of the elementary and middle school band programs, as was Kathleen Moran,” Rice remembers.  “In addition to his high school music training James also studies privately with Courtney Jones, a doctoral candidate at UCLA and instructor for the Distinct Advantage Middle School Band Program.”  James also won the Solo Award at the California State Field Show Championships in November.

Rice continues, “Christian Alva just recently began studying tenor sax with local jazz musician Jim Wheeler after picking up the sax in the 7th grade.  Both Christian and James share their love of music by mentoring the elementary and middle school band programs while serving as section leaders in the high school band.  All three, including Kathleen, are members of the El Segundo Concert Band.” 

Bancroft is lavish in his praise of his protégée, Kathleen.  “She is one of the brightest musicians I have ever seen in El Segundo.  Her bassoon playing is extraordinary – her attention to detail, focus, and passion all contribute to her musicianship.  In addition to being a model student, Kathleen strives to be the best she can be.  She was recently accepted into the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) – potentially one of the youngest El Segundo students to have that honor.  I can’t remember the last time an El Segundo student gained entrance into both Southern California Honor Band and All-State Honor Band.  I can’t wait to see which college she will be performing for five years from now!” 

While waiting for that big reveal, a huge audience in Fresno will have the opportunity to enjoy the musicianship of three of El Segundo’s finest.  Congratulations to Kathleen, Christian and James!