Band students named All State champions


Looking over choral music during Jazz Choir Seniors Jonny Arenas and Angelica Villarreal practice their parts by the piano. Both Arenas and Villarreal auditioned and were accepted into the All-State Jazz Choir, one of the highest high school groups in music.

Mercy Watkins

Because of simple song recordings onto personalized CDs they sent to judges, Johnny Arenas and Angela Villarreal were accepted into the All-State Jazz Choir over winter break.

The All-State Jazz Choir is a music program that recruits high school students. The process of trying out can be considerably long and complicated. Students are required to send voice recording of both scales and songs chosen by the judges. With limited openings, only as many as 30 students are chosen out of the 800 that usually enter.

“We didn’t find out until after winter break,” Arenas said. “It was exciting to both me and my family.”

One of the people that inspired both Villarreal and Arenas was music teacher Mr. Olariu. In November Olariu recommended to his Jazz Choir that they try-out. When Olariu received the acceptance letters for both Arenas and Villarreal he had no other reaction but to be proud.

“I’m proud of both of them,” Olariu said. “They did a fantastic job at their concert and they deserved it.”

Villarreal and Arenas performed in Fresno in late February and believe that their performance was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“When we got there, it felt like we’ve known each other for a long time,” Villarreal said. “We performed as if we’ve practiced for years and we did a great job. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

As there last year in high school, Arenas and Villarreal believe it was a great thing to experience in their last year and will continue to cherish those memories wherever they go.