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2 School Bands Win National Awards

May 09, 1998|BRENDA LOREE

Two Ventura school bands returned home with top awards from the prestigious Grand National Music Festival in Chattanooga, Tenn., this week.

Ventura High School's 43-member wind orchestra, under Mike Takazono's direction, came within one point of winning first place among the country's top wind orchestras at the invitational. Some 25 high school orchestras, mostly from the eastern United States, competed. A band from Miami, Fla., took highest honors.

Anacapa Middle School's slightly smaller wind ensemble placed among the top three bands in the middle school, or junior high, category. They were accompanied by Anacapa's music director, Gregg Hutchison.

Both bands played one march and two classical compositions.

"It was awesome to go there and compete," said Ventura High freshman and percussionist Malena Jones.

"The best part was when we got to play our music. Mr. Takazono is the best teacher I've ever had in my whole life," she said.

Malena's sister, Meredith Jones, a seventh-grader and first-chair flute in the Anacapa ensemble, also competed. Both sisters said they were happy with competition results.

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