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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 2017–18 season awards were presented at the Symphony’s concert on December 2, 2017.

The application for the 2018–19 season awards will be available in late August 2018. (The 2017–18 awards application may be downloaded as a Word document or as a pdf for your information.) If you have questions or are unable to submit an application by e-mail, please contact LAS Awards Committee Chair Nissa Nack at (925) 484-1942 or

Awards presented in December 2017
(text is from the December 2017 evening concert program)

Symphony Association Award
One of two awards established by the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association.

Benjamin Gustav (Gus) Otto Wagner is this year’s recipient of the Symphony Association Award. A student at Amador Valley High School, Gus plays saxophone, flute, and clarinet. His current private teacher is Phillip Halseth. Gus has been a member of the AVHS marching band throughout high school: He marched in the tenor saxophone section in 2014, was assistant drum major in 2015 and 2016, and is currently the head drum major. He is also a current member of Amador’s wind ensemble I, jazz group A, and saxophone choir and a past member of the symphonic band and jazz combo. Gus was a drum major for the Blue Devils “B” Drum and Bugle Corp in 2016, and he plans to continue with the Blue Devils organization after high school. Gus plans to study music industry in college and then work for a large-scale online music distributor or pursue a career in music-industry management of a recording studio or label.

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

Derek Dayton receives the Arthur P. Barnes Award. Derek is a singer and an instrumentalist: He plays trumpet, mellophone, piano, and handbells. He has been in the marching band at Dublin High School since he started there — as a trumpet player for two years and a mellophone player for two years. He is currently serving as trumpet section leader for the Dublin High School Irish Guard. Also at Dublin High, he has played in the jazz band for three years; he was a featured soloist as a junior and is lead trumpet as a senior. He is in a jazz combo that is preparing for competitions at both the Campana and Folsom Jazz Festivals. In 2015, he played trumpet in the Livermore-Amador Symphony Youth Orchestra. Derek has participated in benefit concerts for cancer patients, hurricane victims, and fire victims. He has played in a bell choir at his church for several years and will be first chair at its community youth Christmas concert this year. In college, Derek plans to major in business management with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

John H. Green Memorial Award
Established by Tot and John W. Green in memory of their son, John H. 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 Livermore resident Josephine Clements-Cain. Josephine plays flute and piano; her current teachers are Karen Veca, flute, and Mary Beth Cheney, piano. For three years, Josephine attended Granada High School in Livermore; as a senior, she is a student at the Oakland School for the Arts, where she is a member of the chamber orchestra and flute choir. While at Granada, Josephine played in the marching band and orchestra, participated on both flute and piano in the Livermore School District Solo & Ensemble Festival, was two-term vice president of the Tri-M music honor society, and played varsity golf and tennis. She has played in the Orchestra Gradus ad Parnassum for three years; this is her second year as principal flute. Her love of the flute was greatly influenced by middle school music director Mike Divita. Josephine hopes to major in flute performance in college and follow her education with a varied music career including performing as an ensemble member and teaching at the university level.

Bill King Memorial Award
Established by Jean King in memory of Bill King, the son of Jean and Walter King;
Bill loved music and played cello and trombone
at Jackson and East Avenue Middle Schools.

This year’s recipient of the Bill King Memorial Award is pianist and cellist Fiona Thendean. Her current teacher is Yu-Ting Chen. Fiona is a student at Amador Valley High School, where she has played in both the orchestra and jazz band since ninth grade. She was also a member of the pit orchestra for the AVHS productions of Legally Blonde and Beauty and the Beast. She has participated in a number of musical competitions, including LAS’s Competition for Young Musicians, placing in the Etude Club of Berkeley’s Young Artist Competition, the U.S. Open Music Competition, and the American Protégé International Music Competition. Fiona performs monthly at Eden Villa assisted living in Pleasanton, and she founded and directs Music for You, a musical outreach organization. Music for You is planning a concert to benefit the Harmony Project, which provides free music education to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take lessons. In college, Fiona intends to pursue a minor in piano performance and to continue sharing her music with the community.

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