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More Prestigious Awards-2024


As the school year is drawing to a close it's gratifying to get the news that a few more prestigious awards have been secured by students and groups that I've coached this year. Of significant note....both the Intermediate and Advanced Bands at Miller Middle School, under the direction of David Tang, recently were awarded Unanimous Superior ratings at our local CMEA Festival. I have been coaching the clarinet sections at Miller since the Fall, and I've witnessed a tremendous amount of growth there this year, my first year on board. Not to be outdone, also in the Cupertino School District, the Advanced Band at Lawson Middle School, under the direction of Natalie Pagilinan, were also awarded the coveted UnSup award at the same CMEA Fest. This is the second year I've been coaching the clarinets at Lawson, and I'm not surprised in the least that these two excellent programs are being recognized. Both programs are first rate with excellent leadership and great support from both the district and the parents. Throw in some great coaching, not just myself but the dedicated staff of about 8 coaches at both schools, and you've got a recipe for this kind of success. Congratulations to all involved on a job well done. I am very proud to be a part of these two success stories.


Detailed in this post are the success that the groups at Soquel High in the Santa Cruz area achieved this year...https://www.marksowlakis.com/post/more-awards-for-soquel-high-school.

Well, we have more to be excited about regarding the Soquel High Music program. I am pleased to announce that one my students from Soquel High was just awarded a $900 scholarship to continue their lessons with me from the Santa Cruz Youth Symphony. Years ago the Youth Symphony was supported by a woman named Ruth Mueller. Ruth left a significant endowment when she passed away to support young musicians in this area. These scholarships, of which there are several ranging from $500 to $900, are the result of her generous, thoughtful planning and kindness. What a wonderful thing to have set in motion, thank you Ruth.


Detailed in this post are the successes of this years Honor Group student cohort of mine.


It's been a great year, and I am very much looking forward to, after a restful summer, getting back to business in the Fall of 2024. Working with students and helping them achieve such high honors is a big point of pride with me. I'll say it again, maybe not so humbly but it's never been more true than right now......NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE SUCCESS.


A few words regarding All State Honor Group auditions for 2024-2025. Be aware that the deadline for submitting recordings has been moved up to October 15th, 2025. The excerpts and scales are now up on the website, https://cbda.org/all-state-ensembles/auditions/. It is crucial to start early on this material in order to be prepared for crunch time. Recording can be nerve wracking and tension filled for young musicians, and the better prepared you are the less anxiety you will feel. Being prepared will help bring about your best work, without a doubt. For students that I have a working relationship with, you are welcome to drop by my home studio and have me engineer the recording and coach you on the details. I have the best microphones money can buy, literally, and I have an acoustically treated room which I've banished all the sonic demons from, to record in. Below is what the set up looks like currently. Notice the rectangular acoustic panels on the wall and the rug on the floor. This is standard studio treatment for a good sounding recording room.



The room truly sounds great and the results have been amazing. I have been doing a whole lot of recording on my own in here since the Fall and I can say with confidence, I can engineer you a studio quality digital recording that will be second to none in a matter of an hour or two. If you are serious about wanting to take a shot at All State this is the way to do it.


Finally a huge WELL DONE to all the students that achieved the above merits. Bravo on these accomplishments. I will see you in the Fall. Please keep practicing over the summer and be ready for the future. It's never too early to work hard, and remember to keep your eyes and ears on your musical goals.


Thanks for stopping by my blog...Markos
















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