Alumnus Justin Padilla named Los Alamitos USD Teacher of the Year

Alumnus Justin Padilla has been named Los Alamitos Unified School District Teacher of the Year. He will be part of a program which recognizes excellent teachers. The Superintendent of the Los Alamitos Unified School District wrote of him:

“Justin has been the Band Director at Oak Middle School for nine years, where he built the program from a small number of students to well over 160 students in seven unique performing ensembles. His jazz band, symphonic band, and orchestra are involved in several music festivals each year and have received many awards and superior ratings. Justin is visible throughout the District by serving on several committees, performing at school and community events, and even participating with LAEF for the King and Queen of Hearts Gala.

“Mr. Padilla is a sought after mentor teacher, coordinates many parent volunteers to support his programs, and is currently the Vice President of Jazz Education for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), the premiere music educators association in Southern California.  Most importantly, Justin is an excellent teacher and musician. He loves working with young people and truly ignites unlimited possibilities for the students in his care. He is masterful at the art and science of teaching!”

Darren Loney Wins Big in his First Year

Gahr High’s Marching Band, Alumnus Darren Loney Director of Bands, received an extraordinary article about their 3A Division of the 2013 California State Band Championship season in the Orange County Register.

Darren is in his first year at Gahr, and is quoted in the article saying, ““We can’t control the other groups that show up,” Loney advised his team, “so as long as the band has their best performance up until that point, (we’ve) achieved something great”.”

Mark Alpizar Conducts Down Under

Mark Alpizar took the Four Seasons Youth Orchestra to Sydney for the 24th Australian International Music Festival.

Seventeen youth Bands, youth choirs, and youth orchestras from Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Australia also participated. They performed in the Sydney Opera House, the recital hall at Angel Place, and a pops concert outside in Darling Harbour. Alumna Joanna Alpizar also played and coached the strings.

Jermie Arnold Conducts Maine All State Band

Jermie Arnold conducted the Maine All State Band on May 18th. The band consisted of 106 students from all across Maine Parents and fellow Music educators said it was one of the best All-State Band Concerts they had ever heard.

Mr. Arnold then traveled to New Haven, CT and spent three days in Charles Ives immersion.  He met with noted Ives Scholar James Sinclair, and Tom Duffy director of bands at Yale, and then spent hours pouring over Ives’ manuscripts housed in the Yale School of Music. He also traveled to Danbury, CT the birth place of Charles Ives.  A local Ives Scholar, Nancy Sudik, took him on a personal tour of over 100 miles in and around Danbury, including Putnam’s Park, one of the places of inspiration for Ives’s Three Places in New England. He hiked Pine Mountain and took pictures from the spot where Ives and his friends spent several summer days camping and where Ives may have conceived “Country Band” March and 1776