Guitar players shine at All-State convention

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From left to right, all-State student guitarists junior Grant Sizemore, sophomore Ion Laor, senior Sarah Ham, junior Jacob Kasner and guitar teacher Mr. Jose Bronca snap a quick photo with conductor Mr. Chuck Hulihan (center), director of Glendale Community College Guitar Program and teacher for Guitar Foundation of America, after their first rehearsal. (Photo submitted by Jacob Kasner)

After months of preparation, the time had finally come for All-State guitarists to showcase their talent. Six Heritage students attended Florida Music Association’s All-State Guitar Convention, held in Tampa Jan. 8-10.

Sophomores Jordyn Kurlander, Ian Laor and Matthew Garbarino, juniors Grant Sizemore and Jacob Kasner and senior Sarah Ham all qualified for the convention back in November to play alongside thirty-four other student qualifiers.

To kick off the convention, the qualifiers had to attend a two-hour rehearsal Tuesday night, followed by another eight-hour rehearsal session the next day. Thursday consisted of a similar schedule, with a four-hour rehearsal block in the morning and a performance for the group around midday.

Since the convention was the first time all forty students could practice together, all fourteen hours of rehearsal went into a thirty-minute performance that consisted of six pieces.

“It was an incredible experience. Overall, it was a great way to meet other guitarists from around the state,” Sizemore said. “You learn a lot more than you typically would in a normal guitar class. You just learn by playing, and I enjoy that more than just reading music.”

The 2018-2019 All-State guitar group rehearses for their first concert together. (Video submitted by Jacob Kasner)

Joanne is a senior at American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. As a third-year staffer and second-year editor-in-chief, she loves immersing herself in the journalistic field and writing for her publications. Outside of newspaper, Joanne is also co-president of the English Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society, where she also serves as the student delegate state secretary. Among the other clubs she is a part of, Joanne is also secretary of the linguistics team and Chinese Honor Society, as well as treasurer for Quill and Scroll. In her free time, Joanne loves practicing her photography and going to concerts.

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