All posts by ryantross

2019-2020 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 April 16-18, and current Juniors (next year’s Seniors) will audition during their class period that same week.

Students who are transferring to Plano West (from outside the West Cluster or PISD), can email Mr. Ross at to schedule an audition.

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

2018-2019 Junior Officers

Congrats to our recently selected junior officer team!  This was an unbelievably difficult process narrowing down the candidates, and we are so appreciative to everyone who was interested and interviewed.  Over 60 candidates interviewed, and we would have been happy to have almost every one of those people as officers.


Anish Singh
Betel Berhane
Chloe Hutton
Gloria Jin
Kimberly Tsao
Michael Lam
Shenai Chan
Tim Ta
Yasmin Misra
Audrey Sun
Jackson Benjamin

Grace Munns
Grace Zhu
Isabelle Zhu
Jasmira Mafima
Jenny Jung
Jessica Jou
Noelle Benedicto
Princeton Tran
Emily Huang
Erin Feng
Nushrat Rashid
Shreyas Perumal
Ella Mackler
Lina Nguyen
Shirley Yu

All-State Results 2018

We are excited to share that the following students have earned spots in the coveted TMEA All-State Orchestras!  We are beyond proud of them for this major accomplishment.


Ashley Tauhert – 4 (symphony)

Andy Qiao – 15 (symphony)

Iris Lin – 19 (symphony)

Samantha Liu – 36 (symphony)

Daniel Liang – 87 (sinfonietta)


Yenna Lee-Gannon – 3 (symphony)

Eric Zhang – 4 (symphony)

Raghav Sriram – 5 (symphony)

Johnathan Shih – 31 (philharmonic)


Eddie Xu – 1 (symphony)

Bryan Han – 4 (symphony)

Ethan Tan – 10 (symphony)

Abhinav Godavarthi – 12 (symphony)

Jett Wang – 15 (symphony)

Vincent Huang – 19 (philharmonic)

Albert Chen – 41 (sinfonietta)


Kevin Meng – 3 (symphony)

Jonathan Vasilyev – 33 (band)

Pre-Area Advancements

Congratulations to the following students advancing to the Pre-Area recording round this Saturday!

Violin:  Ashley T,  Andy Q, Samantha L, Iris L, Emily H, Daniel L, Meige L, Anqy T

Viola:  Yenna L-G, Eric Z, Johnathan S, Raghav S

Cello: Bryan H, Eddie X, Jett W, Abhinav G, Ethan T, Albert C, Vincent H

Bass: Kevin M, Jonathan V, Jackson B, Ishaan R, Caroline P

2019 TMEA String Honor Orchestra

The Plano West Chamber Orchestra is pleased to be named the state champion 2019 TMEA String Honor Orchestra!  This win marks our state-record 8th selection as a Texas honor orchestra.  The Chamber Orchestra will now have the opportunity to perform at the TMEA Convention in San Antonio in February 2019.

We are also extremely proud of our feeder high schools, Jasper and Shepton.  Both schools did well in the competition, and Jasper High School is the only non-varsity orchestra from the state to crack the finals.  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.

2018 All-Region Results

Congratulations to the Plano West students who earned placement in the All-Region Orchestras today!  Students marked with an * have qualified for the All-State recording screening round on October 22.

Symphony Violin

Iris Lin (2*), Ashley Tauhert (4*), Samantha Liu (8*), Daniel Liang (10*), Anqy Tong (21*), Andy Qiao (22*), Meige Lu (32*), Sua Park (34*), Jimmy Ding (40*), Sanjana Shriram (41*), Emily Huong (43, first screening round alternate)

Philharmonic Violin

Kesavan Venkatesh (4), Kevin Fang (9), Harrison Wu (10), Jeff Weng (12), Katie Brown (13), Shirley Yu (21), Ayush Iyer (26), Shikhar Gupta (30), Edison Huong (36), Kimberly Tsao (37), Audrey Sun (38), Ting Mao (42), Christopher Wang (alternate)

String Violin

Shido Nakajima (1), Betel Berhame (alternate)

Symphony Viola

Raghav Sriram (5*), Grace Zhu (7*), Eric Zhang (13*), Andrew Yu (15*)

Symphony Philharmonic

Yenna Lee-Gannon (1*), Johnathan Shih (4*), Hanna Sung (8), Darren Huang (9*), Nicole Widjaja (13*), Samantha Tsai (14), Katherine Chen (Alternate)

String Viola

Thomas Minchew (8),

Symphony Cello

Ethan Tan (1*), Bryan Han (2*), Eddi Xu (3*), Jett Wang (6*), Shenai Chan (8*)

Philharmonic Cello

Abhinav Godavarthi (4*), Catherine Yang (9*), Albert Chen (12*), Vincent Huang (13*), Felicia Lien (14*), Kihan Sung (alternate)

Symphony Bass

Kevin Meng (1*), Jonathan Vasilyev (6*)

Philharmonic Bass

Jackson Benjamin (1*), Ishaan Roy (3*), Matthew Grover (5*), Caroline Peters (6*)

String Orchestra Bass

Anish Singh (alternate)

Orchestra Placements (2018-2019)

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.

Please also note that we are going to 6 performing groups for next year.  If you would have qualified for honors credit in the 5 orchestra setup, you still qualify in the 6 orchestra version.  In short, we split the old Camerata and Philharmonia in to three orchestras (Kamer, Camerata, Philharmonia).

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 23 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!

The concert will be on May 23 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 (Disney Medley) – 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 two years ago, and we’ve worked out most of the kinks.  The biggest difference this year from the past is that alumni will 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!