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Awards to High School Seniors

The Symphony Association wishes to recognize students who have made significant contributions to school and community musical activities during their high school years. High school seniors who reside and/or attend school in Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol, Dublin, or San Ramon, California, or who have actively participated as LAS musicians, are invited to apply for one of the $400 awards administered by the Symphony Association.

Awards include the John H. Green Memorial Award; the Bill King Memorial Award; and two Livermore-Amador Symphony Association Awards, one of which is named in honor of Music Director Emeritus Arthur P. Barnes.

The application for the 2017–18 season awards is now available and may be downloaded as a Word document or as a pdf. All applications must be submitted by e-mail by Monday, October 23, 2017. Awards will be presented at the Symphony’s concert on December 2, 2017.

If you have questions or are unable to submit your application by e-mail, please contact LAS Awards Committee Chair Nissa Nack at (925) 484-1942 or

Awards presented in December 2016
(text is from the December 2016 evening concert program)

Arthur P. Barnes Award
This Livermore-Amador Symphony Association Award honors
Music Director Emeritus Arthur P. Barnes.

James Gurney receives the third annual Arthur P. Barnes Award. James plays euphonium/baritone, guitar, and trombone and is also an accomplished vocalist. He has been principal euphonium player of the Amador Valley High School Wind Ensemble since 10th grade and became the baritone section leader of the Marching Band in 12th. James was a member of the 2013 cast of Amador’s Anything Goes, sang in Amador’s Men’s Vocal Ensemble, and is currently a member of the Chamber Choir. A founding member of the ska band Woogity Tempo, James was also an organizer of Garagefest, a 2016 concert featuring eight local youth bands (including Woogity Tempo). Not satisfied with simply performing music, James is a member of the Amador Valley High School Band Council and, for an Eagle Scout Project, constructed a wardrobe cart to aid the marching band’s efforts at fundraising through the selling of spirit wear. James plans to attend a four-year college and to major in bioengineering. He hopes to be able continue playing in concert and marching bands throughout college.

Symphony Association Award

Diane Jo is this year’s recipient of the Symphony Association Award. An Amador Valley High School student, Diane was concertmaster of the AVHS String Orchestra in 9th grade and has been concertmaster of the AVHS Symphony Orchestra for the remainder of her high school career. This year, she is the president of the AVHS Music Council. She also accompanied the chamber and concert choirs and played in the pit orchestra for the AVHS productions of Anything Goes, Legally Blonde, and Guys and Dolls. Diane participated in a number of musical competitions, including the LAS Competition for Young Musicians, and was a first-place winner in the American Protégé Concerto Competition and the United States Open Music Competition. Diane has played in the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra for the past 4 years and is currently the concertmaster there. Diane had the honor of playing with the High School All-State Symphony Orchestra of the California Orchestra Directors Association and is a recipient of the National School Orchestra Director’s Award. She has also participated in the Korean-American Music Support Association Orchestra and gave a solo performance at Carnegie Hall. In college, Diane plans to major in biology and to minor in music.

John H. Green Memorial Award
This award is given in memory of John H. Green,
son of the late Tot and John W. Green; he played horn,
attended Granada High School, and received a Symphony Association Award.

The recipient of the John H. Green Memorial Award this year is double bass, electric bass, piano, and guitar musician Elijah Kane of Granada High School. Elijah has played in the Granada High School Orchestra and continues to play with the high school jazz band and small jazz ensemble. He played bass with the Livermore-Amador Symphony while in 11th grade and has brought his talents to a number of other orchestras, including the LAS Youth Orchestra, Sycamore Strings Chamber Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. As a jazz musician, Elijah has performed at city and community events with the Element 116 band and as a guest bassist with Matt Finders’ ensembles at area wineries. He also is called on to sub in the Chabot College Jazz Night Band. Elijah was a Command Performance bass soloist in the Livermore school district’s Solo & Ensemble Festival and is a mentor for aspiring young bassists. He plans to study physics in college with a possible minor in music and would like to keep music as part of his life by playing in groups with fellow students or by joining community music ensembles.

Bill King Memorial Award
This award is given in memory of Bill King,
son of Jean and Walter King; he loved music and played cello and trombone
at Jackson and East Avenue Middle Schools.

Violinist and pianist Arie Chen receives the Bill King Memorial Award this year. He is a student at Amador Valley High School, where he has played in the AVHS orchestra since freshman year. Arie played violin in the AVHS production of Guys and Dolls and Tri-Valley Repertory’s production of Les Misérables. He has competed in numerous piano competitions, winning a first place in the United States Open Music Competition senior category and being selected for Panel honors by the Music Teachers Association of California. Arie has also been selected to participate in the Young Artist Piano Program at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and has played violin in the High School All-State String and Symphony Orchestras of the California Orchestra Directors Association. At the February 2014 LAS concert, the orchestra accompanied Arie as he played the first movement of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Arie has also performed at senior homes, served as concert coordinator for the AVHS Music Council, and is currently the Music Council’s secretary and webmaster. Arie plans to dual-major in piano performance and computer science, after which he hopes to begin a career in computer science while continuing to engage in music.

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