Four students from Oakdale Junior High School and one Oakdale High School student recently auditioned and have each earned a spot for themselves in the Stanislaus County Honor Band.
OHS freshman and string quartet member Clay Ruddy will play the violin in the high school Honor Orchestra. Junior high students Jessika Lizama, a seventh grader, will play the flute, eighth graders Anna Rogers will play the saxophone, Martin Arellano will play the clarinet, and Natalie Spilman will play the flute in the junior high school Honor Band.
“These students put in the time during and after school and they are well-deserving of the position they earned in the band,” said district band director Ross McGinnis. “I’m glad these kids can go. I hope they’ll come back and share their experience. Hopefully, we can get twice as many people to audition.”
McGinnis added that the county Honor Band experience makes the students better musicians and bumps up their level of expertise. He said that they will get to play music with a “huge” band and people who are all willing to do the work.
He also said that area freelance musician Andrea Hawkes, who plays for the Stockton Symphony, came to the schools to help prepare the students who were interested in auditioning. She coached them on the audition process and helped them improve their music skills.
As part of the county high school Honor Orchestra, Ruddy will go through four rehearsals prior to the concert, which will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Modesto Junior College auditorium. Lizama, Rogers, Arellano, and Spilman will have six rehearsals prior to the junior high Honor Band concert at 7p.m., also on Saturday, Jan. 29 at the MJC auditorium.