Ventura High School shines at Grand Nationals

The Ventura High Wind Honors Ensemble will be performing their last free public concert of the year on May 23.

The Ventura High School (VHS) Honors Wind Ensemble returned from the Dixie Classic Grand Nationals in Atlanta, GA as winners. The VSH group, made up of 52 students, was selected to perform in the prestigious grand finale of this two-day event that saw15 schools and 19 performing groups. Ventura High School is the only group from California to appear in the last 20 years. They performed at Grand Nationals four years ago and again this year.

The team had two weeks to prepare for the Grand Nationals. They performed March from Symphonic Metamorphosis by Paul Hindemith, Sunrise at Angel’s’ Gate by Philip Sparke, and Rocky Point Holiday by Ron Nelson. This festival splits up groups based on music ability before participating, and the event requires several years of superior ratings at national invitational festivals as prerequisites. Based on their performance at the national level, the Ventura High team placed into Division 6, the Professional/Collegiate Level and performed in front of hundreds of musicians in Atlanta’s Symphony Hall. Ventura High earned Superior ratings, which translates into Gold, and they scored above a 96%. In addition to the group’s success, Noah Laber received recognition as Outstanding Soloist.

“The clinicians and judges told me that no one else is doing what our students are doing, it is remarkable and uplifting to see this caliber of training and performance,’ stated Ventura High School Music Director Paul Hunt.

In addition to performing, the students received a private clinic with a musician from Emory University and were able to watch the Atlanta Symphony perform.

“We are incredibly proud of our student musicians, our music Director Mr. Paul Hunt, and the entire music team for this extraordinary accomplishment. They consistently bring out the very best of their superior rated musicianship and character by working tirelessly with each other note-by-note, measure-by-measure, day in and day out. They are a total exemplar of our programs and community,” stated Principal Carlos Cohen.

The Ventura High Wind Honors Ensemble will be performing their last free public concert of the year on Thursday, May 23 at the Ventura High School Auditorium at 7 pm. For more information on Ventura High School and their outstanding Music Program visit or contact Music Director Paul Hunt at [email protected].

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