Check out the SENIOR AWARDS
Allison Pine – Viola
Orchestra 2, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, LACA quartet, Wind Honors, Pit Orchestra
Where and when did you start playing your instrument? I started playing violin in 3rd grade, and after taking a year long hiatus in 6th grade, I switched to viola – best decision ever.
Favorite musical piece played at Agoura: “Impromptu” – Jean Sibelius
Biggest musical influence: Joyce Osborn
Favorite memory of the music room: One of my favorite aspects of the music room was the clinicians that really pushed us as an ensemble. They always gave different perspectives and helped us grow and understand the music.
Favorite memories of your time in Agoura music program: Throughout my time at Agoura, I really loved meeting new people and playing new pieces to expand on my skill. It wasn’t just the places we went – it was the people we met who all shared the common love for music. My freshman year we went to New York, which was absolutely amazing. My junior year, I joined Wind H, making Camryn and myself the only string players in the ensemble who couldn’t play wind instruments. We challenged stereotypes, and I learned to play cello, harp, bassoon, and percussion parts. We went to New Orleans, one of my least favorite places, and met some of the coolest people while stuffing our mouths full of beignets. We competed in festivals and played in the pit, rehearsing for hours at a time to prepare for shows. None of these experiences would have been happy memories without my mentors, Mr. Bloom and Mr. Hackett and the friendships I made along the way:)
Plans for next year: I plan to attend Cal Lutheran as a double major in business and music.
Do you plan to keep music in your life after leaving Agoura? If so, how? Along with playing music in college, I hope to work in a music/business field. Music has always been in my life and it would be unimaginable to completely disconnect myself from it.
– Principal violist at Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra and Virtuosi
– Tri-M Music Honors Society
– CSUN Youth Philharmonic
– Harmonic Youth Orchestra Nonprofit
– Junior Chamber Music with Honors
– Idyllwild Arts Symphony Orchestra Intensive Program
– Certificate of Merit with Honors
– Selected for the MTAC Convention Honors Orchestra
– Mentored violinists at Lupin Hill Elementary in the mornings before school
– Volunteered at AEWright to coach violists
Tributes: I would like to thank Mr. Bloom and Mr. Hackett for believing in me. I appreciate everything you have done, and I am so grateful to have you in my life. Not only are you two great teachers, you are thoughtful, kind people who have supported me throughout my entire time at Agoura. Thank you!
Camryn Russon – Cello
Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, LACA quartet!, Wind Honors (haha), Pit Orchestra
Where and when did you start playing your instrument? 4th grade at my elementary school!
Favorite musical piece played at Agoura: Danzon no.2, Sibelius Impromptu
Biggest musical influence: Yo-Yo Ma , Joyce Osborn
Favorite memory of the music room: I’ll always remember playing some of my favorite pieces in Orchestra, quartet rehearsals at lunch, playing in Wind, and so many memories in the practice rooms- I will never forget the music room!!
Favorite memories of your time in Agoura music program: The New York trip my freshman year was an absolute blast! It was just our small orchestra class and I feel like we all bonded and had so much fun together. I got to go to such a cool place with some of my best friends. New Orleans was also so so fun! PIT ORCHESTRA!! I looooved pit orch because of all of the fun music we played and laughs down in the pit. I also love performances and the feeling of performing for people. I’ve met so many great people through the music program at school and I’m so grateful for these amazing experiences I’ve had.
Plans for next year: BYU!! majoring in finance or marketing +possible music minor!
Do you plan to keep music in your life after leaving Agoura? If so, how? Yes!! I love music! I always want to play – hopefully I can be in some type of local orchestra and I would love to play in a quartet:)
Other accomplishments: I have been in the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra for nearly 8 years! It’s crazy because I started out last chair of the lowest orchestra in Youth Strings back when I started in 5th grade, and I have worked my way up to principal cellist in the top orchestra, as well as CVYO Virtuosi member. I’ve done Junior Chamber Music (JCM) for 4 years and learned so much being coached by Joyce Osborn. Quartet music is my favorite! On the side, I play in a different quartet with some friends. We meet once or twice a week and just play things that we like! I’ve also done various music intensives during the summer at Idyllwild and BYU. Music has really become a huge part of my life!
Thank you: Shoutout to Mr. Bloom and Mr. Hackett for 1. letting Allie and I into Wind and 2. Putting up with our pleas to start a Symphony Orchestra, and 3. Everything you do!! 🙂 This music program has really increased my love for music, so thank you so much for the amazing opportunities!
Luke Fregoso – Saxophone
Blue Crew, Agourapella, Wind II, Wind Honors, Jazz B, Jazz A, Studio Jazz
Instruments: Tenor Sax, Bari Sax
Where and when did you start playing your instrument? I started playing music and saxophone in sixth grade because Mr. Mckagan said he needed a tenor saxophone player in the class I was in. Somehow, he managed to teach me for three years and push me to play in the high school ensembles. For some reason, when I entered the Lindero music program, I saw that the jazz band received special black folders. This was one of the reasons I tried so hard to get into Jazz A at Lindero. Today, I have one of those retired classic folders.
Favorite musical piece played at Agoura: “Groove Merchant” in Jazz B, 2016-17
Favorite memory of the music room: I’ll always remember the insanely crowded music room when the classes would have parties! Showing up any time of the day to the band room the day of the party and always being able to get food!
Favorite memory of your time in Agoura music program: I really enjoyed the New Orleans Trip because I love the city and was super excited to explore it with so many of my friends.
Plans for next year: Cal State University San Marcos, Business and Global Studies
Do you plan to keep music in your life after leaving Agoura? If so, how? Music and playing instrumental music will forever be apart of my life. San Marcos has a small music program and when I received an acceptance from them, I reached out to the director to send in auditions. My uncle has a few younger children and I have plans inspire some future musicians!
Thanks: I would like to thank Mr. Hackett, Mr. Bloom and Mrs. Beal for all the motivation and inspiration to not only be a better musician but to be a better person, too. Without them pushing me to play solos on the spot or try singing or listen to music to the max, I would not be where I am today as a musician! Thank you Mr. Hackett and Mr. Bloom for an astonishing four years of music! Also, thanks to Mrs. Beal for getting me to join A Capella and learn new things regarding singing!!
Alexander Beatty – Tenor
Mixed Choir, Madrigals, Agourapella
Where and when did you start singing? I started singing at an early age but started singing in high school with the Madrigals.
Favorite musical piece played at Agoura: “Jersey Boys Medley”
Biggest musical influence: Frankie Valli
Favorite memory of the music room: I’ll always remember my duet with Jack Jenkins of “Nothing Without Me” before winter break.
Favorite memory/memories of your time in Agoura music program: My favorite memories are of the countless lunch rehearsals with the Madrigals.
Plans for next year: DePaul University in Chicago; Majoring in Film and Television Production
Do you plan to keep music in your life after leaving Agoura? If so, how Yes, I intend on joining an A Capella group once I get to DePaul.
Other accomplishments: Tenor Section Leader
Thanks: A great thanks to Daniel Leese for taking me under his wing sophomore year and helping me develop in choir and singing in general.
Anna Johnson – Violin and Tenor Saxophone
AHS Marching Band, Wind Ensemble Honors, Orchestra 2, Chamber Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, Tri-M Music Honors Vice President
Instruments: Violin, Tenor Saxophone
Where and when did you start playing your instrument? I started violin at six years old when Dr. Fried graciously let me in to his “Fiddle Cats” group and took me in as a private student. I was inspired to play the violin after watching an episode of “The Little Einsteins.” My favorite character on the show played violin and made everyone happy around her. I didn’t even know what a violin was, I just knew that it was for me, and I knew that I wanted to make everyone happy just like her.
Favorite musical piece played at Agoura: “Platte River Hoedown”
Favorite memory of the music room: The music room (“band room”) carries so many memories for me. It’s where I’ve met my best friends, people who will be in my life forever. It’s where I’ve grown from a timid freshman to a loud and proud advocate for our music department. It’s where I’ve grown to love music for its community. To pick one favorite memory would be impossible. They are all fond. Looking back, it’s incredible to trace the relationships I’ve formed with people throughout our music department. From marching band games to parties at my house after..Friday night pizza parties..NYC, NOLA, Santa Susana Festivals… Pit Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra rehearsals…Christmas Secret Santa Parties…Club rushes, Tri-M board meetings, lunches in the office (stealing Mr. Hackett’s Urbane bread)…to recently being able to organize our own chamber concert and now, facing the daunting challenge of staying connected virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic. Agoura is a big school. To be honest, I don’t even know some people in my graduating class. But I know everyone in our music department. So to all of you, and especially those graduating alongside me, I love you and am proud of the musicians and leaders you all are becoming.
Plans for next year: Next year I will be attending UCLA as a public policy and psychology major! Go Bruins!
Do you plan to keep music in your life after leaving Agoura? If so, how? I definitely plan to keep music in my life forever. At UCLA, I have already sent in an audition for the orchestras and marching band. On top of that, I hope to eventually launch a new chapter of Harmonic Youth Orchestra on campus so I can continue to do what I love with my peers- spreading joy through music and community. I will also continue to teach private lessons virtually and I want to partner with Jumpstart, an Americorps program supporting children literacy at UCLA and dozens of other campuses, to start new initiatives for youth music education. In the long term, I know music will always serve as solace and comfort to me throughout my entire life. It will always be a way for me to connect to others, reminisce on fond memories, and express my emotions. I am forever grateful for that.
Other accomplishments/activities: In my sophomore year, I launched a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called “Harmonic Youth Orchestra.” The organization is a community-based youth music ensemble dedicated to providing music for those who are elderly, infirm, or both, those who need music the most. It is my proudest achievement. From navigating through legal requirements, to recruiting student musicians across the county, I built something that will endure for years. With the help of family and friends, the organization has recruited over one hundred performers, spawned over twenty music ensembles, instructed dozens of new and underprivileged musicians, and performed for hundreds of people who truly needed it. We have an incredible team of passionate and talented student musicians from AHS Tri- M Music Honors Society that have made this year incredibly impactful. Here is a youtube video virtual “performance” of some of our musicians: https://youtu.be/siRVSSug0nA.
Outside of this work, I serve as a Petty Officer in the United States Sea Cadet Corps. Through this program I have had opportunities to travel all over- from studying STEM at the Naval Academy to completing obstacle courses in Northern California. I have been able to lead cadets to serve as leaders in their own communities and our Sea Cadet community through fundraisers and parades. I run classes to help young children learn about the Navy’s disciplines and principles, and I try to inspire youth to step out of their comfort zone and serve.
Special tributes: Thank you to Mr. Bloom, Mr. Hackett and Dr. Fried for shaping me into the musician I am today!
Xabier Sardina – Saxophone
Wind II, Wind Honors, Jazz B, Jazz A, Studio Jazz
Instruments: Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Where and when did you start playing your instrument? A.E. Wright in 6th grade where I was first introduced to clarinet and continued playing. I learned saxophone 2 months before auditions for Agoura Jazz Bands.
Favorite memory of the music room: I’ll always remember the “Secret Santa” events we would do together as a class in Wind Honors during Christmas Season.
Plans for next year: Princeton University, Major in ORFE (Operations Research and Financial Engineering) coupled with Certificates in Astrophysics and Applications of Computing.
Other accomplishments: Founder of JAS (Jazz Appreciation Society) club at Agoura.
Abigail Mohr – Flute
Wind Ensemble Honors, Mixed Choir, President Tri-M Music Honors Society
Where and when did you start playing your instrument? I started playing music in 6th grade with Mr. McKagan. He was pivotal to my decision to continue with a musical career!
Favorite musical piece played at Agoura: “A Weekend in New York”
Biggest musical influence: Jacob Collier!
Favorite memory of the music room: I’ll always remember the music room being a safe place to experiment with my musicality and artistry.
Favorite memory of your time in Agoura music program: One of my favorite memories from my time in the Agoura music program is planning the first ever student-led chamber concert as President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.
Plans for next year: Attending NYU as a Music Performance major
Do you plan to keep music in your life after leaving Agoura? If so, how? Yes, I plan to keep music in my life after leaving Agoura! I plan to continue as a Music Performance major and pursue a career in music.
Other accomplishments: I am the current President of the Tri-M Music Honors Society, Principal Flutist of the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra, a Woodwind Officer for the student-run nonprofit Harmonic Youth Orchestra, a private flute teacher, and a performer for the Youth Music Ensemble at St. Max.
Tributes: I would like to thank Mr. Bloom and Mrs. Beal for positively impacting my artistry and helping me work hard by encouraging me to strive for my best. I would also like to show my appreciation for my private teacher, Jim Walker, for always being honest and pushing me harder than any teacher ever has. Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Hackett for being one of the most supportive teachers I have ever had. Not only has he encouraged me musically, but he has supported me on a personal level throughout the past four years. I have been in Mr. Hackett’s Wind Ensemble Honors for four years, and through all of it he has always believed in me, and helped me through all of my ups and downs. Thank you for teaching me far beyond the musical scope of an average music teacher.
Benny Conn – Trombone
Marching Band, Wind I, Wind II, Wind Honors, Jazz A, Studio Jazz, Choir
Instruments: Trombone, Bass trombone, Euphonium
Where and when did you start playing your instrument? I started playing in the 6th grade at Mesa Verde Middle School in Moorpark with Mr. Kurt Gray. In the seventh grade, I went to Lindero and played with Mr. McKagan.
Favorite musical piece played at Agoura: “Happy Go Lucky Local”
Biggest musical influence: J.J. Johnson
Favorite memory of the music room: I’ll always remember the Ron Carter Clinic my senior year in the music room.
Favorite memory of my time in Agoura music program: My favorite memory in the music program at Agoura is the Savannah trip with Studio jazz my sophomore year. I was with so many great friends. We had so much fun and it brought us together as a group.
Plans for next year: Next year I am attending Manhattan School of Music. My major is Jazz Trombone Performance.
Do you plan to keep music in your life after leaving Agoura? If so, how? Yes! Definitely! I want to play professionally as a career.
Other accomplishments: Outside of Agoura High School I played with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra for 3 years. 2 time Downbeat Award recipient. 2 time All National Jazz Band member. 2 time Young Arts award winner. Vail Jazz Workshop member 2019.
Thanks: I would like to thank Bob Hackett, Chad Bloom, and Ira Nepus, for mentoring me all these years and being so positive and supportive.
Valen Potloff – Trumpet
Jazz B, Jazz A, Studio Jazz Blue, Blue Crew, Wind I, Wind II, Wind Honors, Symphony Orchestra
When and where did you start playing your instrument? I started playing the trumpet in the 6th grade when I joined the Cougar Band at Lindero Canyon Middle School with Mr. McKagan.
Favorite musical piece played at Agoura: “Things to Come” by Dizzy Gillespie
Biggest musical influence: Clifford Brown
Favorite memory of the music room: I’ll always remember this past February when we found out we got into Ellington.
Favorite memory/memories of your time in Agoura music program: The New Orleans Trip
Plans for next year: UCSD, majoring in Data Science
Do you plan to keep music in your life after leaving Agoura? If so, how? Yes, I plan to play in the jazz ensemble at UCSD and to continue to play music there.
Final thoughts: Thank you Mr. Hackett and Mr. Bloom for the last four years and to Mr. McKagan who inspired me when I first started playing trumpet.