Student musicians selected for state honor

Nine Tulare County violinists, cellists will perform with the California Orchestra Directors Association’s December Honor Orchestra

TULARE COUNTY – Performing arts students have had a harder time than most finding a sense of normal in an unprecedented pandemic. It’s tough to keep tempo and find tune playing over Zoom and many band, music and choir performances were canceled altogether as they watched their athletic counterparts continue to take the field.

Despite the challenges created by COVID-19, nine Tulare County student musicians will be able to finish of this semester on a high note after being selected for the California Orchestra Directors Association’s (CODA) December Honor Orchestra.

CODA’s purpose is to promote school orchestras in California by providing quality honor orchestra experiences for school orchestra 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 December CODA Honor Orchestra consists of two high school level honor orchestras, an Honors Symphony Orchestra, and an Honors String Orchestra, selected by audition. Due to safety protocols, CODA will host two in-person, simultaneous, one-day events on Dec. 4. One event will take place in northern California at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, Calif., while the other will be in southern California at the John Adams MS Performing Arts Center in Santa Monica, Calif. Students in central California had the option to choose where they will participate.

Participating in the orchestra in the south is Yajari Aguilar (violin) and Dakota Heggie (bass) from Harmony Magnet Academy, Alyssa Campos (cello) and Samuel Noricumbo (cello) from Redwood High School, and Hannah Wegley (viola) from University Preparatory High School. The southern event will take place at John Adams Middle School Performing Arts Center in Santa Monica.

Four Redwood students will participate in the northern event at Gunn High School in Palo Alto. Those students are Alexa Caballes (violin), Rose Candelaria (violin), Ben Lozano (cello), and Laine Roper (cello). For more information about the event or CODA, visit

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