Honor Winds Camp Enriches District

Honor Winds Camp Enriches District

Honor Winds summer camp delights music lovers and students

What does the word community mean to you? To the Las Vegas Honor Winds summer camp, it means musicians coming together from schools all around the Clark County School District to devote entire days of their summer to making music.

The Honor Winds is branched off the professional music ensemble known as the Desert Winds in Las Vegas. The Desert Winds includes many local educators, freelance musicians, and students.

This year, the Desert Winds decided to create the first ever Honor Winds summer music camp, devoted to enriching students' education and musical performances. Artistic director Dr. Charles Macguire oversaw the entire production.

High school musicians already have a very tight summer schedule, with band camp starting around 2 to 3 weeks before school begins as well daily lessons and music classes during summer, not to mention the fact that the CCSD summer was shorted by two weeks this year. However, these musicians agreed to give up even more of their summer to work together.

On Wednesday the 19th, around 90 students selected to be in the group met each other for the first time, having played with very few of these students before. The musicians quickly mingled, meeting kids from all over the district.

The students were seated and warming up on their instruments well before it was time to start, already proving the efficiency that would be prominent in the coming days.

With just three days to start and perfect the music before the concert on Saturday the 22nd at the Las Vegas Academy, guest conductors John Seaton and Phil Haines quickly got to work with the teenagers, rehearsing for hours straight each day.

The students were given a special opportunity to prepare music for master classes with advanced teachers of each instrument, as seen below. The teachers were overjoyed to see how well the musicians were progressing in the little amount of time they were given as well as hearing their individually-prepared pieces.

The concert program included Summer Dances by Brian Balmages, the first three movements of First Suite in E Flat by Gustav Holst, Sanctuary by Frank Ticheli, and Danzon No. 2 by Samuel Alder, all college-level music.

This inaugural Honor Winds ensemble impressed the directors so much that the possibility of a year-round group is in discussion. Congratulation to all Honor Winds participants!


Artistic Director: Charles Macguire | Guest Conductors: John Seaton & Phil Haines

Camp Director: David Gieseler | Camp Logistics: Stephen Turner

Librarian: Sheryl Anne Gamiao

Flute: Dr. Carmella Cao | Horn: Alina Eckersley

Oboe: Sharon Nakama | Trumpet: Angela Berens

Bassoon: Brock Norred | Trombone: Hitomi Shoji

Clarinet: Vincent Camuglia | Euphonium: Brad Bradley

Saxophone: John Seaton | Tuba: Dr. Greg McCracken

Percussion: Marianne Brown

Cover Image Credit: The Desert Winds

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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5 Songs to Add to Your Playlist This Month

Spring into finals week (and the summer) by "cleaning up" your playlist


Here are some fun, fresh new tracks to check out as you finish out the rest of the school year and help you get out of your "music comfort zone!"

“Patience” by Tame Impala 

Genre: Electronic/Alternative

Tame Impala FINALLY released new music (!!), and this track is absolutely stunning. With frontrunner Kevin Parker staying on brand with the band's psychedelic, seemingly ethereal style, it sounds like a combination of 70s soft rock and waves of modern-day electronica, with Parker's voice drifting in and out in a kind of otherworldly, mellowed-out manner.

“Harmony Hall” by Vampire Weekend 

Genre: Alternative/Indie Pop

Vampire Weekend is also releasing an album, entitled "Father of the Bride", on May 3rd. From the looks of it, this track relates to the theme of marriage/weddings present in the album's title, and it is a fun, upbeat song that I have been listening to a lot in the morning as I'm getting ready for class! Ezra Koenig's voice is so unique and can cover a broad range, and I highly recommend listening to some of the band's other work as well ("Step" from their 2013 release "Modern Vampires of the City" is one of my all-time favorite songs!).

“Ready to Let Go” by Cage the Elephant 

Genre: Alternative/Alternative Rock

So many great artists are (finally) releasing new albums this year, and Cage the Elephant falls into this category. This track is an absolute banger and doesn't stray much from the band's style in that it includes a lot of loud guitar and dynamic vocals. Like Vampire Weekend, Cage the Elephant has been around since the early 2000s, and I highly recommend checking out some of their earlier work as well (big fan of their most recent album, actually!)

“Apple Orchard” by Beach House 

Genre: Indie/Electronic

Beach House is one of my favorite bands of all time, as I find a kind of an ethereal, beautiful sadness in the dreamy style of instrumentalist Alex Scally and lucid vocals of singer Victoria Legrand. This track is from their 2006 self-titled debut and is probably one of my favorite songs they've ever released. The lyrics are poetic and perfect for the post-finals enjoyment of spring weather, in that they preach relaxation and restfulness, and the song's electronic rhythms echo the essence of spring as well. If you like this song, then I highly recommend checking out the band's other albums as well (Depression Cherry is one of my favorite albums of all time).

“April Come She Will” by Simon & Garfunkel 

Genre: 60s Pop

No spring playlist is complete without a little Simon & Garfunkel! This song is a classic, its timeless, poetic lyrics capturing the epitome of the coming of spring and all its glory. In fact, I consider the entire album (entitled Sound of Silence) to be perfect for the pleasantness and feelings of renewal/natural revitalization associated with the coming months, so be sure to give it a listen if you haven't heard it before!

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