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Del Valle High School band to perform on world stage

By; Stephanie Guadian
EL PASO, Texas - After three years of applying to take part in an international band and orchestra conference in Chicago, the director of bands at Del Valle high school finally got his invite.

To be accepted to Chicago Midwest is actually a big deal in our area. I think we are the first school in the area to be selected, said Manuel Gamez.

Only 2 percent of those who apply to the Midwest Clinic are accepted. And this year, Del Valle's jazz band -- made up of about 20 students -- will be performing on a world stage.

We are just working really, really hard. We're putting all our time and effort into this. We are really dedicated, said senior Brianna Rodriguez.

The Midwest Clinic in an educational conference -- drawing some 17,000 musicians from all 50 states and as many as 40 countries.

It's not just that we are going to Chicago. It's that we are going to play and perform and show what we can do, said senior Aaron Gomez.

The honor is one not lost on the high school students.

To know that out of every high school jazz band to audition, we were the ones to be chosen. That in that respect is just a great honor and a privilege, said Aaron Venegas.

This may be the first performance by an El Paso high school band at the Midwest Clinic, but at least one person is convinced it wont be the last.

I think it's going to be a benefit for all the groups here in El Paso in the future. So they know that there are very good programs within our city that deserve an opportunity to perform in Chicago, said Gamez.

The Ysyleta School District is covering most of the cost. The Del Valle jazz band is raising funds to pay for the remainder of the trip.

The Midwest Clinic takes place in December.



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