El Camino High School campus

El Camino High's Music Program is Going Places

The El Camino High School (ECHS) jazz band was recently invited to attend the 2024 Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Festival, an education-focused event where participating bands receive feedback from Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) clinicians and other jazz professionals, taking place at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) on February 16.
Before departing, the band provided a preview of the songs they were scheduled to perform. 
The Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program facilitates the preservation of jazz history by transcribing, publishing, and distributing Duke Ellington Orchestra charts as well as recordings and other educational materials to high school jazz bands in the United States, Canada, and international schools abroad. 
El Camino High seniors Matteo Woo and Dion Cagape ('24)

Meanwhile, ECHS seniors Matteo Woo (clarinet) and Dion Cagape (trombone) were recently selected to join the 2024 California All-State Honor Band, which brings together the best student musicians in the state to perform under the direction of nationally and internationally renowned band directors at the annual California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC) in Sacramento on February 4.

According to El Camino High Music Director Ray Galela, students must undergo a rigorous audition process in order to join the California All-State Honor Band.
“The audition repertoire consists of excerpts from challenging classical pieces,” said Galela. “Students must demonstrate their technical mastery of the music, and their submissions must be played in the correct order and recorded without any discernible sounds save that of their instrument.”
Galela said Dion Cagape also won selection to the Miles Ahead Big Band, a local honor jazz band, along with senior Junvir Espe (bass trombone).
Directed by former ECHS alum and teacher Mike Galisatus and award-winning jazz educator Kristen Strom, the Miles Ahead Big Band is a project of the Stanford Jazz Workshop that features many of the top high school jazz musicians in the Bay Area. 
“It’s a great honor to be selected, and we are more than proud of our students,” said Galela.