The music was flowing this past weekend at the Modesto Junior College Auditorium for the Stanislaus County Music Festival that included high school and junior high school Honor Choir, Honor Orchestra and Honor Band. Riverbank High School (RHS) had two students that made the Honor Band for the second year in a row, senior Dolores Navarro and junior Lizbeth Ramos.
RHS Band Director Joey Aguilar has had students in years past make the Honor Band which he explained is a top honor for band students.
Navarro last year was the 10th chair in the flute section and has moved up to the 4th chair this year and Ramos was the 6th chair last year and was the 3rd chair this year playing the alto saxophone.
“It is hugely important to participate in honor band,” added Aguilar. “It is the top thing they can do in our area. We take the best playing high school students in Stanislaus County and we have two this year. It is amazing and they are both really high chairs for their instrument.”
Both the girls were looking forward to the concert at MJC where they performed for a full house that included family and friends. They performed a world premiere of “Fearless Canyon” by Dale Trumbore with the Honor Band on Saturday night, Jan. 25.
“They get to learn to play with others but it is at a higher capacity,” stated Aguilar. “The music that we generally play is what we call advanced junior high/high school band. What they are playing is more college level music. So it is giving them a whole other level of what we play here at the high school.”
Aguilar explained that Trumbore is a Los Angeles area composer that was asked to commission the piece for the 2020 SCMEA High School Honor Band.
“This was Ms. Trumbore’s first band composition that explored the fear of anxiety and overcoming that fear,” he said. “Students were able to have a Q&A with Ms. Trumbore the day before the concert where she was asked specific questions by the students about how the piece should be performed.”
The second piece the band performed was “Boat Trip” by Adam Gorb from England. Ginger Zingara conducted the Honor Band and was invited to the area by Aguilar, who was one of her former students at Troy University in Troy, AL which is where he received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Music Education. A retired band director, Zingara currently works with students all over the Southeastern United States and now the Central Valley of California. She also had the honor of being the first woman conductor of the SCMEA High School Honor Band.
Both Navarro and Ramos enjoy their instruments and plan to continue to play them in the future.
The RHS Band is having a Fuddruckers Breakfast fundraiser to help support the RHS music department. They have tickets available for $12 that include an all-you-can-eat breakfast at Fuddruckers on Feb. 8 from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Breakfast will include scrambled eggs, bacon, home-style potatoes, French toast, pancakes, orange juice, milk, and coffee.