Home News Local News Student Talent Takes Center Stage at San Bernardino County Honor Concerts

Student Talent Takes Center Stage at San Bernardino County Honor Concerts


More than 650 student musicians from throughout San Bernardino County were selected to showcase their musical talents during three separate honor concerts. In partnership with the San Bernardino County Music Educators Association (SBCMEA), San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) was proud to provide students the opportunity to perform in front of packed audiences that included elected officials, community members, educators, and families.

“Our honor concerts show just how important arts education is to our students and community,” said County Superintendent Ted Alejandre. “SBCSS is proud to continue providing our students with opportunities to showcase their incredible talents and fuel their passions.”

To qualify for a spot on stage, each student auditioned in front of professional musicians. After just three rehearsals together, these outstanding students at the elementary, middle and high school levels delivered a masterful performance.

Whether playing wind instruments like the clarinet, flute and oboe or stringed instruments like the violin, cello, and string bass, each of this year’s selected student musicians practiced for countless hours, ensuring an exceptional performance in front of a live audience.

“Overall, this gives students a place to express their creativity if they don’t have the outlet anywhere else,” said Mary Jane Cleary, a Redlands East Valley High School student. “It creates a really strong bond between students, teachers and other musicians. It’s just like a big family.”

More than 300 student musicians performed during the Basin Honor Bands Concert held at the University of Redlands Chapel on Saturday, Feb. 10. The concert was led by three separate band conductors. Retired music educator Robert Barton acted as the elementary band conductor, music educator Scott Bonner led the middle school band performances, and Gregory Whitmore, Conductor of the University Symphonic Winds at California State University, Fullerton, served as the high school band conductor.

The High Desert Honor Bands Concert held at Oak Hills High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, showcased nearly 200 student musicians. The concert was led by three separate band conductors for the elementary, middle and high school musicians. Leonard Narumi, a retired music educator, acted as the elementary band conductor. Dan Barilone, a U.S. Army School of Music graduate, served as the middle school band conductor. Dr. John Burdett, Director of Bands at the School of Music at Azusa Pacific University, acted as the high school band conductor.

175 students from 12 school districts in the County performed during the Honor Orchestras Concert held at the University of Redlands Chapel on Saturday, Mar. 2. Becky Long, a music educator in the Redlands Unified School District, led the elementary orchestra performance. Albert Jeung, the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Capistrano Unified School District, acted as the conductor for the more than 70 middle school musicians. Dr. Gene Moon, Director of Orchestral Studies at California Baptist University, served as the high school orchestra conductor.

The three impactful concerts were dedicated to former music educator, Dr. Carl Schafer. Dr. Schafer recently passed away at the age of 91. He was known as a stalwart supporter of music and arts education and a beacon of leadership in San Bernardino County and throughout California. He left an indelible mark on the educational landscape through his unwavering advocacy for the inclusion of music and arts in the curriculum for all students in California.

Dr. Schafer not only founded the SBCMEA but was also instrumental in helping to establish multiple honor bands and orchestras, choral festivals, and a Solofest involving more than 2,000 San Bernardino County students annually.

Since 1986, SBCSS has collaborated with the SBCMEA to host the honor concerts for students involved in music education programs throughout the County.

For additional event photos from the Basin and High Desert Honor Bands Concerts, please click here. For photos from the Honor Orchestras Concert, please click here.

For more news and information, visit the SBCSS Newsroom and follow us @SBCountySchools on FacebookX (formerly Twitter)InstagramLinkedIn and YouTube. #transforminglives



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