Banding together for All State

In yet another honor for the Diamond Bar High School music department, 16 Brahmas packed their bags and instruments last week to attend the annual All-State California Honor Band and Orchestra convention.

The honor band event took place this past weekend at the Fresno Convention Center. The event offered different workshops, the opportunity to meet established conductors and musicians and the chance for attendees to rehearse and play in a concert together.

“For us, we do so much stuff with the large groups. Our large groups win championships and do things like that,” DBHS band director Steve Acciani said. “But we’re truly doing our job if we are getting the individuals to be at that high level, where they are recognized not just as great players at the school, not just regionally, but at the state and national level.”

For junior Joshua Chung, who plays the clarinet, attending All State in past years was an opportunity to make connections with the people at the event.

“I’ve made a lot of connections with different conductors, professors and other students,” Chung said. “Playing in a high level group like that opens up your ears and your ability to relate with everyone in the group.”        

Before the event, junior Alex Chun and freshman Abigail Hong talked about the opportunity to showcase their talent and what has driven them to keep playing their instrument for so long. Chun, having played the clarinet for six years, was content being acknowledged for his talent but still seeks to improve his skill.

“To know that I’ve been recognized feels good because at least I’ve put in enough work as to where I feel satisfied,” Chun said. “But to reach my ultimate goals, I should still practice more, because you can always get better.”

Post All State, several Brahmas were able to reflect on their experience. Juniors Ashley Fang and Kyle Kato participated in the High School Wind Symphony. The majority of the Brahmas’ time was  spent rehearsing with their respective groups in preparation for their performances on Saturday and Sunday.

“I really enjoyed all the rehearsals,” Fang said over text. “We rehearsed around twice each day for three to four hours but our conductor was really considerate… Besides just learning about music and practicing, he taught us how to work as a group and enjoy performing, so I was really thankful to have him as a conductor.”

In addition to workshops at the event, participants attended master classes and student sessions where they learned more about their instruments as well as things related to the music industry. Kato’s favorite moments during the event were being able to spend time with friends as well as making new ones.

“My favorite part of All State was spending time with friends and new friends but also being able to continue to practice the craft of music with people who share the same passion,” Kato said.

Acciani had nothing but praise for the students going to the event, crediting their talent and diligence in working hard to get to their level of playing.

“They’re all fantastic,” Acciani said. “Just being able to compete at that highest level shows a work ethic, an industriousness beyond what normal high school kids can do…”