Arts News April 2015

At Los Al, our student artists have been very busy during March, designated as Arts Education Month, Youth Art Month, and Music in our Schools Month by different organizations.   A number of performing groups are in the midst of competitions, and accumulating accolades.
Los Al Drama went to State, the CA Thespian Festival, where they earned an amazing 28 “superiors” and ten place distinctions.  Their one-act play was first chosen for performance on the main stage of the state competition, and then selected for Nationals this summer.  They’re now looking for sponsorship to go to Nebraska in June for the International Thespian Festival.  If you have any leads, please contact Director Stacy Castiglione at
LAHS Drum Line earned 1st place at the SCPA Championship Prelims, and will compete in the finals this weekend.  They will head to Ohio for WGI Championships next week.  Color Guard placed 2nd out of ten schools in their last competition. Both the Advanced Wind Symphony and Intermediate Symphonic Band earned top honors at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) Bellflower HS Festival.  Congrats to these groups and Director of Bands Tom Plunkett.  
Oak Jazz Band was invited to participate in the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, one of only six middle schools.  This prestigious invitation is issued after blind judging.  That this is Oak’s fourth year in a row is a result of the stellar job of director Justin Padilla.  Both McAuliffe Jazz and LAHS Jazz will be returning to the Reno Jazz Festival this month.  
This year’s PTA Reflections for our council concluded last week with a district-wide Gallery where 200 art works were exhibited.  Fifteen students, whose entries were the top judged at their schools, were recognized by the PTA Council, district administration, and the school board at last week’s board meeting.  Six of these entries received further honors at the Fourth District PTA level, and one (Grant Lock of LAE) advanced to the CA state level, where it earned the Award of Merit.  Congratulations to all.  Many thanks to the Reflections chairs at each school and to Council Reflections chairs Maria Osorio and Remy Hernandez.  The theme for next year is, “Let Your Imagination Fly”, which will kick-off in the fall.  You can get the latest news through the PTA SMARTS newsletter.
With 1200 Los Al students singing and dancing their hearts out, the All District Choral Festival was again a major event.  Directors David Moellenkamp, Moana Dherlin, Rachelle Randeen, Shannon Wallace, Sandy Hines, Suzanne McElderry, Lisa Crawford, and Jeinine Urquiza put together a spectacular show.  LAHS advanced choirs won Grand Championships in New York and qualified to compete fin Chicago for National Grand Championships. 
Our district is a step close to formalizing a current strategic plan for arts education.  A district arts plan serves as a blueprint for sustained growth that is targeted to our specific needs.  It is even more advantageous in light of the newly adopted Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), and it qualifies us to apply for grants through the county. I will continue to help in this area.  If you want to know more about an arts plan, go to
Imagination Celebration takes place April 11-May 24 with 50 events across Orange County, including McGaugh’s Pageant of the Arts.  Events are family friendly and free or low-cost . The 6th annual Creative Edge lecture will feature author and Harvard DuBois fellow Sarah Lewis on April 21. She will present, “What We All Can Learn from the World’s Greatest Innovators”.  
Go to for more on both of these events.
You’re invited to visit the Alliance facebook page for more on these events and updates on the Los Al Arts scene. Please feel free to comment there or to me directly.