Walter Reed Middle School wins top musical honors

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carole-rosnerBY CAROLE ROSNER

Ninety-nine musicians and singers from North Hollywood’s Walter Reed Middle School won top honors at The Heritage Music Festival in Santa Clara, California, competing against 25 high schools and middle schools.

According to Stephen McDonough, instrumental music teacher at Walter Reed, the school has participated in this festival for the past seven years and in other musical competitions for more than 15 years. This year, the String Orchestra received the highest score he’s ever seen.

In addition to being named Superior in the Orchestra category, the String Orchestra won the Adjudicators Award and the award for Outstanding String Orchestra Group at the Festival. Eighth-grader Kenny Kim received the Maestro Award for his violin solo. The strings were also invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the Heritage Festival’s Elite Performance Series.

The Walter Reed Wind Ensemble received Superior marks, and the Choir won first place and a silver medal.

The Walter Reed music department has a long history of musical excellence.  “I feel the strength in this program stems from a commitment to teach all students.  As students become members in the beginning winds, strings and choir classes they learn these disciplines with their peers.  Often students come to Reed with prior experience on those instruments.  After an audition, we place these in the group at the appropriate level of play.  Having multiple levels of study is what assures the school community of an opportunity for growth and excellence in the arts,” said Mr. McDonough.

As LAUSD’s arts budgets continue to suffer severe cuts, there will be even less funding for music programs across the city. When McDonough was asked what Reed’s music department needs most, he said “funding for instruments, advanced technology for performances and recordings and money for field trips.”

If you’d like to make a donation to support Walter Reed’s music program, please send your tax deductible donation to: Walter Reed Music Boosters, 4525 Irvine Ave., N. Hollywood, CA 91602

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who has lived in Studio City for the past 11 years. She is a strong supporter of her local public schools and an active volunteer in her neighborhood. Some of her favorite things to do in Studio City are to celebrate 4th of July at CBS Radford, walk along Ventura Blvd. and browse through the racks at Crossroads Trading Company.

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.