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46 Samohi Orchestra Students Chosen for CODA Honors Orchestra

Students to play in two San Diego concerts this weekend

Santa Monica High School (Samohi) announced that 46 orchestra student musicians have been chosen, by audition, to participate in the highly selective California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) honors orchestra program planned for December. Chosen by a committee of experts through a blind audition process, a total of 101 student musicians were selected from across the state for the symphony orchestra, of which 27 are from Samohi, while a total of 18 out of 97 total students across California were also chosen for the string orchestra from Samohi. 

The students will join exceptional student musicians from throughout California in San Diego, accompanied by Directors Jason Aiello and Jim Wang, to work with their respective orchestras and their esteemed guest conductors.

 “Our student musicians have such passion and commitment to their music studies,” said Samohi Principal Marae Cruce. “We are very proud of our Samohi programs, our directors and these students who are very deserving of this tremendous honor.” 

The purpose of the CODA is to promote school orchestras in California by providing quality honor orchestra experiences to high school students. CODA also facilitates an exchange of instructional strategies and ideas for the school orchestra director and provides a community and forum for school orchestra directors. 

The symphony orchestra will be performing Mothership by Mason Bates, Huapango by Pablo Moncayo and Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43, IV. Finale by Jean Sibelius, conducted by Michael Gerdes, Director of Orchestras at San Diego State University. 

The students selected to participate from Samohi include: Mattin Aframian, Violin; Gabriel Ceguerra, Viola; Ethan Clark, Trombone; Franklin Daley, French horn; Lorelei Deutsch, Cello; Allison Gee, Viola; Parisa Ghassemi, Harp; Natalia Guerra, Bass; Peter Jarvis, viola; Aerin Lee, Violin, Aiden Lee, Violin; Connor Lee, Bass; Shannon Lee, Bass; Sarah Macwan, Violin, Noor Memarzadeh, Violin; Sarah Moeller, Bass; Charlotte Moss, French Horn; Samantha Posell, Bassoon; Hannah Rand, Viola; Yelena Sahrai, Violin; Alex Sebastian, Viola; Marina Shickler, Violin; Henry Sullivan, Violin; Joshua Tang, Bass Clarinet; Luca Trevellin, Bassoon; Cassidy Walther, Cello; Sam Wessling, Trumpet; Elizabeth Yesilevsky, Violin. 

The string orchestra will be performing Ferial, from Estampas Mexicanas by Jose Elizondo, Romanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok and St. Paul’s Suite, movements 1, 3, and 4 by Gustav Holst, conducted by Dr. Alexander Kahn, Director of Orchestral Activities at Sonoma State University. 

The Samohi students selected to participate include: Naomi Altman, Viola; Feben Ayele, Violin; Alessandra Cruz Rivera, Violin; Grayson Fitzgerald, Bass; Hoyt Gallagher, Cello; Mia Gobel, Violin; Iliyan Kanji, Violin; Shayl Khatod, Violin; Joia Massee, Bass; Jackson Mayeda, Viola; Benjamin Ostrovsky, Cello; Daniel Ostrovsky, Cello; Christopher Rhee, Violin. Salomon Singer-Portnoy, Violin; Soren Thanawalla, Cello; Edward Wallace, Bass; Kyle Wang, Violin; Naomi Xia, Violin. 

The students will each learn their respective pieces on their own, outside of and in addition to their school repertoire, and then have one day to rehearse together with their orchestra peers at San Diego State University on Friday, December 2. The performances will be held at Wilson Middle School, Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 1 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public: Wilson Middle School, 3838 Orange Ave, San Diego, CA 92105. 

SMMUSD makes music education a priority, providing instruments and music instruction to all interested students starting in fourth grade, all the way through matriculation. Samohi orchestras have performed in world class venues across the United States and the world, and the program is recognized as one of the best in the country. To learn more about, or to donate to the Santa Monica High School orchestra program please visit: www.samohiorchestras.com

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