Students to head off to national music event

Heather Hoelscher and Heather Hoelscher

Michael Herrera and Joel Tercero have both been chosen to participate in a huge music event put on by the College Band Director National Association located in North Carolina from March 20 to 23.

The National Conference for College Band Directors in North Carolina is a huge national event where music students from all over the country go for three days to learn from well-known musicians and get an opportunity to play with them.

In the past Cerritos College has not been asked to participate.

Herrera, a music education major playing the alto saxophone at the event, is very honored to be chosen to go to the NCCBD this year.

“I am very excited to go (to the conference),” Herrera said, “Schools from all over the country are going and I feel good representing Cerritos College.

“Joel, who is playing the flute at the event, and I are working hard to hopefully get to the first chair spot, which is for the principle musicians who get solos.”

David Betancourt, who has been the director of Bands and Orchestra for 13 years, was one of the people to recommend the students who are going to NCCBD.

“This is an amazing experience to go to these conferences. It is very expensive but because of own college support we can go. The Cerritos College Foundation really changed these kids lives with this great opportunity to play with such well-known musicians,” Betancourt said.

Last semester Cerritos College Music Department had 40 students selected to work with really well known composers and conductors at the Music Association of California Community Colleges conference.

Composer Frank Ticheli and Conductors John Carnahan and Christian Grases, were among the well-known musician who worked and performed with the students who participated.

“Three days of work and practice with the composers and conductors and the final day the students did a concert for all family and friends and music teachers from across the state,” Betancourt said, “It is a music conference with the honor band and choir with the best community colleges from all over California. For the past several years we have represented well.”

Jennifer Ornelas, majoring in music education, talked about her experience participating in the MACCC conference.

“It’s always a pleasure going with a community group (that isn’t) as advanced and go to the conference and play with really advanced musicians, it can be very challenging,” she said.