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!


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

National Winners: Mark of Excellence, National Orchestra Honors

winners-orchestra-lgWe are pleased to share that Plano West Orchestras have been named National Winners in two Mark of Excellence competitions!

The Chamber Orchestra was named a National Winner in the string orchestra category, submitting last year’s performances of Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht and Mozart’s Divertimento in D.

The Symphony Orchestra was named a National Winner in the full orchestra category, submitting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Movement 1, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, Movement 3.

All-State Results

Congrats to the following Plano West Orchestra students for their outstanding achievement in selection as All-State Orchestra members!  16 is a Plano West record!


Kevin Bai – 18 (Symphony)

Alan Bouda – 21 (Symphony)

Cedric Hu – 26 (Symphony)

Raymond Chen – 40 (Symphony)

Tim Wang – 52 (Philharmonic)

Matthew Zhao – 78 (Philharmonic)


Kevin Lin – 2 (Symphony)

Navin Ahire – 4 (Symphony)

Luke Fullington – 13 (Symphony)

Annette Tsong – 14 (Symphony)

Serena Cheng – 21 (Philharmonic)


Gahwon Lee – 2 (Symphony)


Alice Zhao – 9 (Symphony)

Blake Aldridge – 28 (String)

Mikey McNamara – 39 (Band)


Daniel Che – 4

Carmina Burana

Home hear Carl Orff’s epic Carmina Burana, performed by the Plano West Orchestra and Chorus.  The performance will be on December 2, 7pm, at St. Andrew United Methodist Church on Plano Parkway.

The church will not allow ticket sales at the door, so all tickets must be pre-purchased.  You will then claim your ticket at the church at the “Will Call” table.  To order your ticket, click here.

3rd Place: Honor Full Orchestra

I’m happy to share that the Plano West Symphony made 3rd place in today’s Honor Full Orchestra finals.  This is an amazing result regardless, but one even more so amazing since the full orchestra recorded only 2 weeks after our TMEA string orchestra performance.  This is the first time in Plano West history that the full orchestra made finals, and  I’m beyond proud of the hard work that the orchestra members invested to achieve this result.

Congratulations go out to our friends at Martin HS in Arlington ISD for their win.  I had the privilege to hear their recording at the contest, and it was an outstanding performance without qualification.  Bravi tutti!

TMEA Honor Full Orchestra Finalists

TMEA_Logo_BlueI’m pleased to announce that the Plano West Symphony Orchestra (full orchestra), has been named a finalist in the TMEA Honor Orchestra competition!  Although our orchestra program has been named the TMEA Honor Orchestra winner six times in string orchestra, this is the first time in school history that we have been named a finalist in the full orchestra category.  Congratulations to everyone who was involved, especially graduated Seniors!  The final round will be judged on July 21 in San Antonio, Texas.