Pacific Grove Musicians Go All-In at All State

Written by David Tuffs

In the coming weeks, Pacific Grove High School will proudly send six students to represent us at the California All State, Honor Band, Honor Orchestra, and Honor Choir. The All Star groups represent the top young musicians in the state, and our school has always maintained a good presence in the groups. These six students auditioned in December of last year and the results came in at the start of January. Band and orchestra students had a simple audition for which they had to play a few musical scales and a few etudes (complex musical compositions designed to test one’s ability), while choir members got in after they auditioned for and made the Regional Honor Choir. Those who scored highly there could then decide whether or not they wanted to move on to the All State Honor Choir. The event will be held over four days, February 15-19, in San Jose. The musicians who made it into these prestigious ensembles are:


Honor Band

  • Rachel Choi (Trumpet)
  • Elijah Taurke (Trombone)
  • Chris Matthews (Trombone)

Honor Orchestra

  • Daisy Swanson (Violin)

Honor Choir

  • Isaiah Boulware (Tenor Voice)
  • Ty Barrett (Tenor Voice)

Although they have already done their auditions, Rachel, Elijah, and the others will have to go through a second, blind audition to determine seating on the actual day. I spoke to Chris Matthews about how it feels to have made it to the top-tier band in the state. Chris said “Everyone I’ve talked to who’s done it says that it’s a great experience and [that] you learn a lot. Also it’s in like two weeks so I should probably start looking at the music or something.” Wise words from an extremely talented musician. However, while this is a great achievement, for many musicians it come after years of hard work. Chris said that he has been playing since fifth grade and Isaiah Boulware said that he has been doing it for most of his life, for around 10 years, but that “getting to learn new songs and learning a different harmony other than the melody and meeting new people…has been fun.”

So let us wish these talented musicians good luck while they push their abilities to the max and make new acquaintances and friends on their way.