With 39 brahmas in its attendance, this year’s California All State Band has been dominated by Diamond Bar High School musicians.
In order to qualify for the group, thousands of students are judged on precision of scales and musicality of a solo piece by an array of high-ranking musicians each year. Those who pass this admission process are placed in one of California All-State Bands, Orchestras and Choirs, which are all headed by nationally-acclaimed conductors. Among this year’s acceptance from DBHS are sophomores Lucas O’Brien and Lucy Wu as well as junior Rachel Yang.
Yang will be participating in All-State for the fourth time since seventh grade. Throughout her time in the band, Yang has met numerous musicians, been guided by several conductors and created memorable experiences.
“I first participated in all-state because my middle school band director encouraged me to,” Yang said. “After that, I continued to participate because it is overall a really fun and memorable experience.”
Wu is an euphonium player, who is joining the All-State Symphonic Band for the first time this year. She anticipates the new experience of playing in a different group of people who carry the same passions as her.
“I am looking forward to playing with top players in California,” Wu said. “Due to [COVID-19], all the music events last year were canceled. Therefore, I didn’t have the chance to perform with people from other schools.”
Contrasting Yang and Wu’s excitement to meet musicians from across the state, two year veteran player O’Brien more so treasures the time spent at rehearsals.
“A few benefits of being a part of All-State groups are definitely getting more experience as an ensemble musician, as well as getting to meet many new people from across the state, learning more about music education and opportunities in college and beyond, and honestly just having a great time with friends in Fresno,” O’Brien said.
For O’Brien, the All-State band is a way to get more experience in an advanced ensemble and familiarize himself with career opportunities in music education.
“Personally, I do plan on continuing music in the future as a career; in which specific field of music, I’m not too sure yet,” O’Brien said. “Part of why I always loved and continue to love music so much is because of how many different aspects of it there is to consider and enjoy, from performing to conducting and from theorizing to composing.”