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LAHS senior earns place in National High School Honor Orchestra

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By Special to the Monitor

A Los Alamos High School Senior, Matt Hanson, has been selected to participate in the 2008 National High School Honor Orchestra. The Honor Orchestra will present a full length concert at the National Convention of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Feb. 29 at the Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque under the direction of Maestro Jung-Ho Pak, currently artistic director and conductor of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and music director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.Hanson, along with 30 other students from New Mexico, prepared the required audition music last summer, and submitted a resume and an audio CD to the national selection committee. Each state was able to submit up to 31 audition applications. There were more than 1,200 applicants nationwide for the under 100 positions in the group. Two students from each state could be selected. Because New Mexico is the host state for the 2008 convention, there will be four students in the orchestra this year. Those selected for this honor were notified mid October of their acceptance.Hanson began his study of music on the piano with Juanita Madland, and then added the violin in the fourth grade. He began playing the double bass when there was no bass player in the LAHS symphonic orchestra three years ago. He also enjoys playing the trombone and has performed as a member of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony and the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra on that instrument. Another area of music where he has been successful is composition. Hanson has received several recognitions and awards. The Second Movement of his Symphony No.2 was performed by LASO a year and a half ago. Also, Hanson will play violin in the All State Orchestra for the fourth time this coming January. He will play the violin in the National High School Honor Orchestra. He is the son of David and Carol Hanson. He has studied violin with Alice Mutschlecner, Cheryl Smith-Ecke and is currently a student of Marion Pack.Other Los Alamos students who auditioned for the Honor Orchestra were Angela Helm, Jennifer Kwon and Eric Dai. The program for the national convention will include “Romeo and Juliet” Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “Montagues and Capulets” by Sergei Prokofiev, and “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein. The concert will be 8 p.m. Feb 29.