Rocklin student musicians bring home top-notch awards

By: Kristine Guerra, Special to The Placer Herald
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Rocklin middle school musicians may be just as talented as hundreds of others in the country, maybe more. In this year’s Heritage Festival held recently in Anaheim, Maestro awards were given to seven out of more than 700 competitors based on individual performance. Two of which were awarded to Spring View Middle School eighth-graders, Emma Richie and Tyler Harris, according to the school’s press release. Spring View Middle School’s honor band received a gold award and the orchestra received a silver award. The group’s combined scores won over other competitors and because of this, the school was awarded the Instrumental Sweepstakes trophy for the first time. “The students at Spring View Middle School are wonderful,” said Tom Douglass, band and orchestra director. “I am fortunate to get to work with students at this level after they have had such great training from the elementary band directors. The students work hard and continually surpass my high expectations.” In preparing for the competition, the band and orchestra start working at the beginning of the year to assess where the students are, Douglass said. “It all starts with the great elementary music programs we have in Rocklin Unified,” Douglass said.” Students start their violin training during fourth grade and band instruments during fifth grade. The Heritage Festival is a competition among bands, orchestras and choirs from various West Coast states. “I think it’s something that showcases what we’ve done,” Douglass said. “For the school, I think it’s something to be proud of. My plan is to participate in a Heritage Festival every year because it is a fun and educational experience as well as exposes to performing groups from all over the country.”