Darren Loney’s Gahr HS Band Wins State Championship

Alumnus Darren Loney led his Gahr High School Band to the Division 4 State Championship  After advancing to the California State Grand Championships they took home the Grand Champion Trophy, Gold Medal. Gahr senior flutist Sayra Rosales received the Outstanding Soloist Award. Over half the band – 53 students – were freshmen or first-year members of the group. This is only the second year since Gahr High School has restarted its competitive marching program.

Sandy Collins Spahr awarded Opera Colorado Grant

Alumna Sandy Collins Spahr (2006 double major in Music Ed and Horn Performance) teaches MS and HS Orchestra and Drama teacher at Frontier Academy in Greeley, CO. She won the 2012-13 “Page to Stage,” a grant awarded by Opera Colorado to one high school each year. The grant funded a full production for 31 student ages 14-18 to adapt The Scarlett letter into a musical. Students, with guidance from Sandy, two other teachers, and Opera Colorado, wrote the script, lyrics and music. They also designed props and created costumes, held auditions and acted and directed the production.

The local paper featured their story: Sandy wrote, “I am so thankful for the education I received at CSULB!  I consistently am reminded of what a high-caliber education I received as I’m out in the work world comparing my training with other colleagues.”

BCCM Recruits at California All-State Music Education Conference

Six of our faculty attended CASMEC, the California All-State Music Education Conference, in Fresno last weekend. John Carnahan and the Wind Symphony performed a clinic on clarity and Christine Guter directed the high school all-state vocal jazz ensemble.

BCCM had a recruiting booth manned by all in attendance including Jermie Arnold, Deb Mitchell, Dan Zanutto, and Carolyn Bremer. Several alumni and students came by for their BCCM alumni buttons.

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!”