All posts by ryantross

Junior Officers

Congrats to our recently selected junior officer team!  It really was an unbelievably difficult process narrowing down the candidates, and we are so appreciative to everyone who was interested and interviewed.  We really do have the best students in the world!


Jett Wang
Jessica Qiu
Shawn Ha
Rani Kumar
Vangel Huang
Joanne Huang
Helen Zhao
Irene Park
Gina Bae
Zach Chin
Sana Hairadin
Samantha Tsai
William Hathway
Sohni Patel
Elliot Kim
June Lim
Ethan Tan
Jennifer Xia
Andy Qiao
Felicia Lien
Jaelin Jiles
Stella Lee
Monet Sirossian
Devki Bhagat
Yasmin Bagheri
Rebecca Osei

2018 All-State Results

We are extremely happy to share that Plano West has a record 18 All-Staters this year!  This is the highest accomplishment a student can earn in the TMEA system, and we are beyond proud of the hard work these students invested!


Samantha Liu – 19, Symphony

Andy Qiao – 24, Symphony

Iris Lin – 30, Symphony

Tim Wang – 38, Symphony


Eric Zhang – 2, Symphony

Luke Fullington – 3, Symphony

Navin Ahire – 7, Symphony

Yenna Lee-Gannon – 15, Symphony

Kevin Lin – 18, Philharmonic

Johnathan Shih – 33, String

Hanna Sung – 34, String

Raghav Sriram – 38, String


Albert Chen – 12, Symphony

Shawn Ha – 14, Symphony

Jett Wang – 18, Philharmonic

Vincent Huang – 24, Philharmonic

Abhinav Godavarthi – 32, Philharmonic

Ethan Tan – 37, String

Angel Yi – 44, 2nd Alternate

2017 All-Region Results

Congratulations to all West students who made an amazing showing at All-Region today!  The following number of students will tape for All-State for each instrument, so if you fall within that number, keep working that All-State music!   24 violins, 16 violas, 16 cellos.  It’s possible some people will choose to not tape, so if you’re close, you may still get a chance.  We’ll know more next week.

Symphony Violin

Samantha Liu – 1, Iris Lin – 2, Tim Wang – 5, Andy Qiao – 20, Sherry Su – 21, Eric Ye – 29, Harrison Wu – 31, Kevin Fang – 42

Philharmonic Violin

Kathleen Shao – 10, Richard Liu – 11, Sang Chung – 14, Brian Choi – 17, Leanna Butler – 22, Naho Shioyama – 26, Dylan Hylander – 30, Kelly Wang – 32, Jennifer Zhang – 33, Shikhar Gupta – 44, Chris Djinov – Alternate 9

String Violin

Vangel Huang – 19

Symphony Viola

Eric Zhang – 1, Luke Fullington – 4, Kevin Lin – 6, Yenna Lee-Gannon – 8, Johnathan Shih – 9, Navin Ahire – 11, Hanna Sung – 14, Raghav Sriram – 15,

Philharmonia Viola

Lydia Ta – 1, Annette Tsong – 4, Daniel Shu – 5, Darren Huang – 9, Zoie Fan – 13, Samantha Tsai – 14,

String Viola

Katherine Chen – 5

Symphony Cello

Jett Wang – 3, Ethan Tan – 6, Vincent Huang – 9, Albert Chen – 10, Abhinav Godavarthi – 14, Angel Yi – 15, Shawn Ha – 16

Philharmonic Cello

Collin McMahon – 12

String Cello

Jorge Garcia-Undiano – 2, Nicole Hunter – 5

Philharmonic Bass

Blake Aldridge – 7, Matthew Grover – Alternate 3

2018 TMEA Honor Full Orchestra

The Plano West Symphony Orchestra is pleased to be named the state champion 2018 TMEA Honor Full Orchestra!  This win marks our state-record 7th selection as a Texas honor orchestra.  The Symphony Orchestra will now have the opportunity to perform at the TMEA Convention in San Antonio in February 2018.

We are also extremely proud of our feeder middle schools.  Rice Middle School is the Middle School Honor String Orchestra, and Robinson MS was a finalist in that same competition.  The success we have at Plano West is absolutely rooted in the excellent music instructions our students receive at Jasper, Shepton, Rice, Robinson, Renner, Frankford, and our community of private music instructors.

A special congratulations goes out to last year’s seniors who performed in the winner performance.  When we are playing at TMEA next February, you be there with us in our hearts!

Orchestra Placements (2017-2018)

Dear Students,

Below, you will find a link to find your orchestra placement for next school year.  Students are listed by student ID number in a randomized order that does not reflect your placement within your ensemble.

The nature of auditions is that some people are happy with their placements, but others feel some disappointment.  Please understand that Mrs. Gross and I spent a great deal of time working through the audition results to guarantee that everyone is in the group that will allow them to succeed, but also to become better musicians.  Most importantly, please don’t let the results define you as a musician or as a person.  In the end, none of this matters that much.  But the work that you will do (or not do) means everything about who you will become as a person.

If you’re disappointed, please consider a few points:

  1. The level of competition at West is high.  Really high.  The upside of this is that all of our orchestras really play beyond their apparent level.   For example, the third orchestra at West is playing at a level much higher than the top orchestra at most schools in Texas.  Regardless of the group you’re in, it is going to be good.

2.  It is totally normal to be in a “lower” group at West than you were in at Shepton or Jasper.  Juniors, remember that you were auditioning against seniors with more experience and against talented players from the other high school.  Believe me, though, that the level of music we will be playing in the groups will not in any way be a step back from what you are accustomed to.

Later in the summer, counselors will let us know if there are conflicts in your schedule.  Mrs. Gross and I will work those out for you – if there’s something we need to discuss with you in that regard, we will send you an email or call.

I’m so excited for our orchestra next year!  This will be the largest Plano West Orchestra in history.  Let’s make it a great year!


Alumni Performance


Are you a Plano West Orchestra alumni?  Then join us on our last concert of the year for a developing orchestra tradition.  We are going to end the May 24 concert with a special senior performance (Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera).  Mid-performance, orchestra alumni will join the seniors to finish out the piece.  Help transition the seniors to “alumni-hood” if you’re available!

This is an extra special year.  We are very sad that Mr. Thompson will be leaving Shepton for an amazing new job at Westwood High School in Round Rock ISD.  So come wish Mr. Thompson well, or see other favorite orchestra teachers.

The concert will be on May 24 at 6:30pm.  The senior performance will be the last piece on the program, so it will happen at some point after 8:30pm.  You will need to be in the orchestra room as Chamber Orchestra is performing their final piece (Bohemian Rhapsody) – a student will come and bring you to where you need to be.  Attire is casual…. if you have an old orchestra t-shirt, wear that!

We began this tradition last year, and we had some kinks.  We’ve learned from that, and we’re making some changes.  This year, alumni will actually setup on the auditorium floor down in front of the stage.

If you want to participate, print out the music at the link above.  (All piano and percussion parts will be covered by PWSH students.  Do not print these parts)  You will need to provide your own instruments.  If you’re a cello or bass player, we MIGHT have a limited number of instruments to lend.  Please email PWSH Orchestra Director Ryan Ross at to inquire on a possible instrument-borrow.  Violins – you can choose if you play Violin 1 or 2.

As marked in the music, the piece will begin with only seniors playing on stage.  At measure 31, we will repeat back to 14, and on the repeat alumni will join.  From there, the entire group will play to the end.

No need to RSVP this year.  Our email database only goes back to 2011 or so.  Please help spread the word to our alumni going all the way back to 2001!


The American Prize for Orchestral Performance

We are excited to share that the Plano West Chamber Orchestra has been named the 2016 first place winner of The American Prize for Orchestral Performance (school orchestra division)! Congrats to our current seniors and the class of 2016 for their accomplishment! Congratulations are also due to our friends at Arlington HS (NY state), Allen High School, and Reagan HS (San Antonio) for their recognition in the competition.

See the full list of winners here.

2017-2018 Audition Music

Incoming juniors and seniors: Please find the audition music for next school year below.

Current Sophomores (incoming Juniors) will sign up with your high school director for a 5 minute audition the evening of May 15-17, and current Juniors (next year’s Seniors) will audition during their class period during the week of May 15.

To access the audition music, use the Google Drive link below.  If you have any issues accessing the music, talk with the orchestra teacher at your campus.

Junior Officers

Congrats to our recently selected junior officer team!  It really was an unbelievably difficult process narrowing down the candidates, and we are so appreciative to everyone who was interested and interviewed.  We really do have the best students in the world!


Janelle Liew
Zoie Fan
Jason Kim
Jordan Lee
Nicholas Leung
Jude Kershaw
Da-Hyun Jeong
Tim Wang
Lydia Ta
Abbie Rex
Annette Tsong
Nicole Roos
Ritu Trivedi
Jessie Luo
Anjitha Niar
Charu Siva
Satya Chintapalli
Jenny Jones
Kasie Liang
Christy Chang
Sherry Su
Amy Forden
Brittany Nguyen
Bonnie Ngai
Sang Chung