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Viewpoint Students Julian Dans ’25, Zooey Jeong ’25, and Jishnu Mukherjee ’26 Selected to Participate in Prestigious CMEA All-State Music Education Conference
Viewpoint Students Julian Dans ’25, Zooey Jeong ’25, and Jishnu Mukherjee ’26 Selected to Participate in Prestigious CMEA All-State Music Education Conference

While some students see music merely as a hobby, Viewpoint students Jishnu Mukherjee '26, Zooey Jeong '25, and Julian Dans '25, have dedicated countless hours to their passion. Their commitment paid off when they were selected to showcase their talents at the California Music Educators Association All-State Music Education Conference, held in Sacramento from January 31 to February 4.

Jeong and Mukherjee have been involved in the Golden State Band for the past two years, with Mukherjee participating for three. Additionally, Dans had an original song accepted into the Music Composition Walking Gallery, where it was displayed along with a write-up in the main floor lobby.

All-State offers students statewide the chance to audition and join a distinguished ensemble, drawing from both public and private schools. Placement in the Golden State Band is determined by the initial audition, while others undergo live auditions upon arrival to determine seating within their assigned bands.

“Out of the 1,800 people who auditioned, only around 400 to 500 musicians were ultimately chosen," said Jeong. 

"The creation of that band aimed to broaden participation, particularly for students from smaller schools like ours, offering them a unique and coveted opportunity,” said Kim Gonzalez, Band Instructor at Viewpoint.

Gonzalez and Kosta Kutay, Assistant Teacher at Viewpoint, both volunteered at the All-State Conference to assist in overseeing the High School Concert Band. This marks their second consecutive year of being called upon to support the group, which consists of around 138 students.

“I've experienced both sides of the coin. As a former participant, I've maintained close friendships from All-State,” said Kutay. “Even in college at CSUN and now pursuing a master's at USC, I continue to engage with fellow alumni, highlighting the lasting impact of these opportunities."

Mukherjee, Jeong, and Dans echo this sentiment, extending their encouragement and advice to others who are interested in participating in the future. 

"When it comes to preparing for the audition process, my advice is to start early and dive deep into each piece," Jeong suggests. "Pay close attention to the nuances between excerpts as they often require different tones and styles to be properly emulated.”

“Consider what sets you apart from others vying for the spot. It's not solely about musical ability; dedication, perseverance, and even luck play a role,” said Mukherjee. “Assess if you truly belong and have the drive to excel in the ensemble you're auditioning for. With the right motivation, you can achieve it.”

“Submit your work widely to competitions and recognition programs. While it's natural to fear rejection, it's crucial for professional growth to become comfortable with it. With each submission, you learn to cope with setbacks and reap the rewards of success,” added Dans.

Congratulations to Jishnu Mukherjee '26, Zooey Jeong '25, and Julian Dans '25 for their remarkable achievements! For those interested in learning more about All-State and how to get involved, additional information can be found here.

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