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Home | Tag Archives: coronado

Tag Archives: coronado

Coronado Junior is Top Bass Trombonist in Texas

Smooth jazz sounds flow from Connor Wilson’s bass trombone effortlessly like a pro with more than just two years experience under his belt.

The humble musician took first chair bass trombone at the Texas Music Educators Association’s All-State competition this fall – earning a top spot on the state’s Jazz Ensemble 1 and making him the top student bass trombonist in Texas.

“I’m really proud of myself,” he said, his bass trombone comfortably at his side. “I got fourth chair last year and I was on the second ensemble, so I think it was really cool to get in the top ensemble this year.”

Coronado band director Mark Saenz calls Wilson’s accomplishment “a big deal.”

“It shows a lot of discipline to try to get those eight tubes to the level that they need to be and a lot of creativity,” Saenz said. “He had to create an improvised solo for this particularly audition process. It shows the skills that he’s developed and his talent.”

The junior credits his Coronado band peers for pushing him to practice and hone his craft.

“Being around all these other players that are so talented has made me a better player,” Wilson said. “I think had I not gone here, I wouldn’t be in a position that I am today.”

Wilson’s talent and accomplishments also inspire his band mates.

“When you have a student like Connor with the right mix of talent and attitude, it really impacts the other students around here,” Saenz said. “They hear how well he’s playing and it makes them better and inspires them to practice and make themselves work on improving their skills.”

Wilson began his band career in sixth grade playing the tuba, then moved on to trombone in seventh grade. He turned to bass trombone as a Coronado freshman – further developing and fueling his passion for jazz.

“I like the way that you can kind of just make your own melodies off of a melody that someone else created 30 years earlier,” he said. “I just think it’s really cool.”

Wilson also enjoys the mood-lifting effect playing the trombone gives him.

“It’s a real stress reliever,” he said. “If I’m sad or something, I’ll play my trombone and feel better. I really enjoy just making music – especially when it sounds really good. It’s a kind of a sense of accomplishment.”

His passion and love for brass instruments might be directly related to his genes. His parents, Steve and Elisa Wilson, are both UTEP fine arts professors. Dad Steve is an accomplished trombonist, while mom Elisa is a professor of choral music and voice.

“Connor has a particular strong family music background,” Saenz said. “They’re supported him from day one. They’ve given him the room to grow and have supported him in whatever direction that it takes him.”

His pure talent, dedication and a little DNA give the trombonist the elements necessary for success at the state level and among his peers.

“Connor is just such a great player as far as the jazz element is concerned. But on top of that, he’s also a wonderful classical tubist,” Saenz said. “He’s just a wonderful student and an inspiration for the kids around here.”

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD 

Montwood, Pebble Hills Bands Advance to State Championships, Hanks Wins ToB

It was one of the busiest weekends yet for El Paso bands, with three separate contests taking place on Saturday. The end result was some great finishes for our local groups.

The first contest of the weekend was the 4-A Area contest in Lubbock. Mountain View and Clint represented El Paso, but neither band was able to advance past the preliminary round.

The largest contest of the season was simultaneously happening in Las Cruces. The 41st annual Tournament of Bands took place with some outstanding results for our local groups.28 bands took the field in 4 classes with the following results.

In preliminary Class B Awards, Irvin won Outstanding Music Execution, Burges won Outstanding Percussion, Alamogordo won Best colorguard, and Jeff/Silva won the Drum Major award. Riverside finished third, Irvin finished second, and Alamogordo finished in first place.

In preliminary Class A , Eastlake High School took Music Execution, Percussion, and Colorguard, while Parkland High School took home the Drum Major award. Top finishers were Las Cruces High School in third, Bel Air in second, and Eastlake in the top spot.

In preliminary Class AA, Hanks swept all captions. Cleveland High School from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, came in third, while Onate finished second and Hanks took the top spot.

The 10 bands advancing to finals were Albuquerque Eldorado, Las Cruces, Cleveland, Del Valle, Eastwood, Eastlake, Horizon, Onate, Bel Air, and Hanks High Schools.

Hanks High School ended the night as Grand Champions with their show ‘Pocket Full of Poseys.’ Other finalist finishes included Eastlake in second place, with Onate High School from Las Cruces in third and Bel Air High School finishing fourth. Cleveland was in 5th place, followed by Horizon High in 6th, Eastwood in 7th, and Del Valle in 8th. Las Cruces High finished 9th and Albuquerque Eldorao finished 10th.

Perhaps the biggest news of the days is El Paso has both the advancing bands from the Area A 6-A marching band contest. 14 bands competed in prelims, with seven bands advancing to finals. El Paso bands in finals included Americas, Coronado, Montwood, and Pebble Hills.

At the end of the second and final round of competition, Pebble Hills came in first, followed closely by Montwood. These two bands, both from the Socorro ISD, will now travel to San Antonio to represent West Texas at the State marching band contest.

Prelims for the 6-A contest will be held in the Alamodome on Monday, November 5, with the finals round taking place on Tuesday, November 6.

Directors of the Pebble Hills Spartan band are Maximo Sierra, Raul Chavira, Daniel Hunt, and Cecil Crabtree.

The Montwood “Mean Green” band is under the direction of Beto Pererz, Roman Lechuga, and Caitlyn Colette.

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Graphic courtesy Musical Notes- The Blog

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Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.

Area Bands ‘Tune Up’ For UIL Competition at EPISD Invitational at Franklin High

27 bands took the field at Franklin High School Saturday, as El Paso ISD hosted their invitational contest for area marching bands.

Serving as adjudicators for the event were Valentino Leyba, Kevin Moreman, and Shawn Silva, all band directors in the Las Cruces Public Schools. Instrumental Coordinator Julio Castillo was the contest organizer.

Due to the large number of bands entered, the contest was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. An awards ceremony was held at 11:30 after the first 13 bands performed. After a lunch break, the afternoon saw another 14 bands take the field, capping the day with an awards ceremony for these bands at the final conclusion of the contest.

Receiving first divisions, which denotes a “Superior” performance, were Franklin, Riverside, Parkland, Hanks, Bel Air, Eastlake and Del Valle High Schools in the morning session, and Irvin, Burges, Americas, and Coronado High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving second divisions, denoting an “excellent” performance, were Horizon, Eastwood, Ysleta, and Socorro High Schools in the morning, and El Paso, Andress, Jefferson Silva, and Chapin High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving a third division, or “good” performance, were Canutillo, Anthony, Fabens, Clint, Bowie, San Elizario, and Austin High Schools.

This contest served as a tune up for the bands and was great for getting some last minute pointers from the judges before the UIL contest next Saturday. All the El Paso-area bands will compete in the state- sanctioned contest which this year will advance 2-, 4-, and 6-A bands to the Area marching band contests for each respective class.

Those contests will take place in Amarillo for the 2-As, Lubbock for the 4-As, and Odessa for the 6-As on October 27th.

Locally, there is plenty more action coming up in Band-tober. The aforementioned UIL contest is next Saturday, October 13, at the SAC. This contest will be for ratings, just as today’s contest was, with qualifying bands advancing to the Area round of contests on the 27th.

On October 20, bands from Texas and New Mexico will take the field again at the SAC for the SISD Marchfest. The Marchfest contest uses a 7- person judging panel and is a two-round contest.

After prelims, 6 bands from the small band class will advance to a finals round, while 8 bands in the large band class will advance. No division ratings are given at this contest. Instead, the bands are given numerical scores and ranked in first place, second place, and so on.

The experience of competing for those rankings will come in handy for the last weekend in October. The advancing bands attending the Area contests will be ranked, and the highest -placing bands will advance to the State marching band contest.

This contest is held at the Alamodome in San Antonio on November 5,6, and 7.

Meanwhile, most of those bands not advancing to Area contests will instead journey up to Las Cruces for the NMSU Tournament of Bands, also taking place on October 27th. This contest, too, uses a 7-person judging panel and a prelims/finals format.

The Tournament of Bands for many years has served as the penultimate contest for bragging rights around the area, and promises some amazing marching show action for local band fans.

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Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.  

Click here for a complete listing of all the ‘Bandtober’ Events

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Once again, the El Paso Herald-Post will be providing band fans with LIVE, STREAMING coverage of SISD’s Marchfest on October 20, 2018!   Our day-long coverage starts at 7:20 and goes on through the finals!

EPISD Students get Nuggets of Wisdom From Chick-fil-A Leadership Program

For Chick-fil-A, it’s not all about cooking chicken. The fast food franchise has teamed up with area high schools to serve up some nuggets of wisdom through its Leader Academy.

The nationwide Chick-fil-A Leader Academy engages students in monthly Leader Labs with a focus on important leadership skills that they will use to create student-led community impact projects.

Franchise owners throughout El Paso have adopted neighboring campuses to offer the Leader Academy. Burges, Silva Health Magnet, Coronado, Franklin, El Paso, Chapin and Andress are among the high schools sponsored by an area Chick-fil-A in EPISD.

“Our vision at Chick-fil-A is to make a positive impact on the lives of others and so we believe that our youth are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Joy Martinez, who owns the Airway location with her husband Anthony Martinez. “It is important to invest our time and energy so that we can give them the tools that they will need to be better equipped for the world tomorrow.”

The Martinez’s kicked off the 2018-19 Leader Academy at Burges High School on Friday with 30 students at an orientation for the year-long program. The day began with some ice breakers, an introduction to the curriculum, a boxed lunch with the famous Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a visit from Cow, the restaurant’s mascot.

The curriculum taught in the academy focuses on servant leadership – a style deeply rooted in the Chick-fil-A organization and modeled by its founder, the late S. Truett Cathy.

“Our servant-leader spirit, in which we put others first, really comes from a sense of mission to serve others with compassion dignity and respect,” Joy Martinez said. “The same compassion dignity and respect that we would want others to offer us. We want to encourage all Chick-fil-A Leader Academy students and help them in any way that we can because Anthony and I had many mentors, family members, friends who encouraged us and believed in us and helped us in our journey.”

Last year, Burges’ project created a more inclusive environment for special education students in the Community Readiness Classroom (CRC), nicknaming them “the cool kids.”

“I think this year we will just make a larger impact and keep growing the relationships we already have,” said senior Lailani Chehedeh. “I’m really excited to see the way the new students start and the way they end. Last year, even for myself, just being able to see the way I grew and began understanding different types of people and just growing relationships was really a unique experience.”

Student Activities Manager Ruth Bohlin saw the leader academy as a great opportunity for Burges students to develop virtue and civic responsibility.

“While we have our leader academy kids go through the curriculum, they also have an opportunity to build relationships with our CRC kids,” Bohlin said. “And that in itself was a wonderful opportunity for each of them – both enriching for the CRC kids and the leader academy kids.”

Joy Martinez saw first-hand how successful the program was at Burges last year.

“What I noticed was that the energy, the spirit and enthusiasm was just remarkable – truly remarkable,” she said. “Seeing the cool kids just have so much fun and feel the love was just so heartwarming. You saw all these students come together and bring a ray of sunshine to the lives of kids.”

Story by Reneé de Santos | Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

El Paso ISD Destination Imagination Teams Headed to State

Creative thinkers at Burges and Coronado high schools earned top honors in their respective categories in the regional Destination Imagination competition, earning them a spot at state April 7-8 in Lubbock.

Burges and Coronado were among a dozen EPISD schools competing at the regional Destination Imagination competition last week at Eastlake High School. Burnet, Cielo Vista, Coldwell, Cooley, Douglass, Mesita, Polk, Whitaker, Zavala elementary schools and Magoffin Middle School also competed.

For Burges, going to state has become a tradition. They have been at least 13 times. The Mustang team won for Challenge B: Scientific Challenge Top Secret.

“Destination Imagination is a creative problem solving competition,” said coach James Towle. “Students act, sing, and dance, design and create costumes, design and build sets, write scripts, practice improve skills, learn and incorporate mechanical, technological, and chemical engineering, learn how to budget, and build their teamwork skills.”

A student of Towle’s once described the competition as “all of the elective classes on your campus built into one.”

Coronado’s Nadine Rivas calls DI an “international creative thinking group.”

“We do a lot of creative problem solving in DI,” Rivas said. “Our team had to write and act out a short skit which showed the repercussions of the color ‘pink’ disappearing.”

This is Coronado’s first venture to state, where they are competing in the fine arts challenge “Vanished.”

Finishing second in their respective challenges were teams from Cielo Vista and Douglas elementary schools. Mesita’s engineering team took third place in their challenge.

Coldwell received the Spirit of Discovery and Imagination Award for outstanding spirit, teamwork, volunteerism and sportsmanship.

“The recipients of this award are the ones who go out of their way to help others, making sacrifices not for themselves, but to give something to someone else,” said Julie Witte, a Guillen Middle School teacher who coordinates DI.

Burges High School also received the Renaissance Award for outstanding design, engineering, execution and performance.

According to DI organizers, “the Renaissance Award recognizes those who demonstrate extraordinary amounts of effort and preparation in their solutions or outstanding skill in engineering, design or performance. While the destination is creativity, these fellow travelers make the journey itself memorable.”

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