Two El Segundo Middle School Music Students
Selected for Rare Honor
El Segundo musicians selected to perform in both
Southern California and All-State Honor Bands
El Segundo, CA – January 9, 2014 – El Segundo Middle School students Thomas Piibe and Elliott Bijlsma have been selected to perform with the California Band Director Association’s (CBDA) All Star Honor Band February 20th through the 23rd in Fresno, California, at the Radisson Hotel & Convention Center. The two musicians will take center stage at the Saroyan Theatre both Friday and Saturday evenings, February 22nd and 23rd at 8 p.m. to share their exquisite talents with a demanding and knowledgeable audience.
But that’s not all -- these two talented young musicians, Thomas on trumpet, Elliott on clarinet, also scored a top honor from the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) – and have also been invited to that performance later in 2014 as well.
The California Band Director’s Association is a professional organization comprised of school band instructors throughout the state from all levels of public, private and collegiate educational institutions, whose major function is to host the California All-State Honors Bands. Thomas and Elliott were picked from over 1,500 fellow students statewide vying for the honor awarded California students for the last fifty-five years.
The 1,500 students competing for the few spots to perform as an All State Honor Band member mailed in audition tapes to the panel of judges, who then listened to the performances without prejudice or knowledge as to what school or region the musicians represented, or how many years as musicians the performers had under their belts. It truly is a “blind” audition in that manner, according to Mr. Tony Bancroft, the Musical Director and Band teacher at ESMS, “ensuring students are selected for all the right reasons.”
The All Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Honor Band had a totally different audition process. And absolutely more nerve-racking in that the musicians performed “live” for the panel of judges. Bancroft clarifies, “Students must learn their solos and scales, and perform them in a live audition very much like what you would expect to see at any college or professional setting.”
Tommy certainly feels up to the demands of a live performance in front of a packed audience.
“I'm really excited, I worked really hard on the auditions. I like music because it is hard and
challenging, but it is worth playing the song. I love playing trumpet; I've played for 3 ½ years.
I hope this is a great experience for me.”
For his part, Elliott is modest about this extraordinary honor. “I didn't exactly expect to make it in at first, but I tried really hard and I did practice a lot. The solo was hard musically. I am a technical player and it was hard for me to express the musicality I needed for the song. I think I exceeded my own expectations as well as others. I am looking forward to the experience and I think I will enjoy it a lot.”
And Mr. Bancroft? “It is an honor and a privilege to work with students like Thomas and Elliott, who give 100% effort each and every day. It is amazing how hard work and dedication pays off. I'm looking forward to hearing their fine performances!”
As are many others!