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The Only Middle School Band In the Nation Invited to Perform at Carnegie Hall is From California

Their award winning program includes a Concert Band, Parade Band, Orchestra and a Jazz Band

By Michelle Mears, September 5, 2019 2:39 pm

The Elsinore Middle School Tiger Band from Lake Elsinore, California have earned the right to toot their own horns. The Tigers are the only middle school students in the nation invited to perform in the New York Invitational Music Festival in the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

“This is a dream come true for our kids. They have worked years for this opportunity to showcase their talent,” said Band and Orchestra Director Jeannine Mehochko. “These kids have music in their heart and soul.”

The Elsinore Middle School Band is known for their award winning program which includes a Concert Band, Parade Band, Orchestra and a Jazz Band. They consistently win unanimous superior ratings and recently won, through the NAMM Foundation, a national recognition for best school music program.

“An important value that a Tiger learns in our band program is that we use our talent to serve. We use the gift of music to play for a purpose…for people in our community such as veterans, elderly, for city functions and to just make people happy. These kids are leaders and truly deserve this once in a lifetime,” said Mehochko.

The New York Invitational Music Festival was established to allow young musicians the opportunity to perform on one of the worlds largest stages, the Issac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage in Carnegie Hall.

The Educational music festival was created to enhance the performance ability of students through master classes delivered by nationally known clinicians while experiencing the musical prowess of Broadway musicians. The young musicians invited to the festival will be able to meet other talented students from around the world.

Kaitlyne Bibbins who was a Tiger Band member for three years said, “Mrs. Mehochko pushes me to practice and be the best I can be.”

Office Administrator Debbie Briggs who has worked at the school for 25 years told the California Globe, “Our program has grown from nothing to amazing since Jeannine arrived.”

Many of the children at Elsinore Middle School have never had the opportunity to leave their community, travel on an airplane or attend a renown concert hall. The trip to New York City and the opportunity to perform in the world-renown Carnegie Hall is a rare opportunity for them.

Heidi Bishop a drum major said, “Playing in the band has taught me to be disciplined and I  can’t imagine my life without it.”

Covering the student’s costs of traveling to New York City and transporting the instruments is the next hurdle for the band. The school is hoping the community and music supporters across the state will come together to make this dream come true for the inspiring musicians. The event is scheduled for April 7-11, 2020.

Donations can be made on a fundraiser on GoFundMe.com to help pay for the trip.

Michelle Mears

Michelle Mears is a reporter in Southern California who has covered news in Riverside and San Diego County for 20 years.
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