Outstanding ninth, 10th, eleventh and 12th grade music students from across Washington state, Oregon and Idaho received top honors by being selected to participate in the annual Washington Music Educators Association All-State and All-Northwest bands, choirs and orchestra.
Four Oak Harbor High School students were named to the All-Northwest and All-State bands and choirs. They are Jordan George, John Coleman, Sarisa Panitayasuk and Renne Richards.
George made the All-State Concert Band. He is a member of Wind Ensemble/Jazz Band/Wildcat Show Band/Drumline, plays the tuba and is Band Club vice president.
Coleman made the All-Northwest Mixed Choir. He is a senior in Harbor Singer and is a tenor 1.
Panitayasuk was named to the All-State Symphonic Choir, is a sophomore in Harbor Singers and is a soprano 1.
Richards made the All-State Symphonic Choir, is a senior in Harbor Singers, is Choir Club president and is an Alto 1.
The Oak Harbor students are joining more than 570 other young performers in Bellevue for a gala event.
The WMEA groups will meet in February. The student musicians will rehearse together under the direction of music educators and present a final concert.
More than 4,000 students auditioned to participate in the prestigious event, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education.
Many professional musicians credit their All-State or All-NW experience as crucial in their decision to choose music as a career, Oak Harbor High School Choral Director Darren McCoy said in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
Thousands of others whose career paths took them in other directions have great memories of participating in this inspiring and motivating musical experience, and claim that it was a life-changing experience for them, McCoy said.
Well-known Washingtonians who participated in past years’ groups include Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist David Horsey, 2008 National Teacher of the Year Andrea Peterson and jazz saxophonist Kenny G, said McCoy.