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Walnut valley Unified School District

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DBHS Named Grand Champions at Orchestra Cup

NEWS                                                                                    Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 9, 2015                                                                         Walnut, CA 91789


Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204


Diamond Bar High Named Grand Champions at Orchestra Cup

DIAMOND BAR, CA—The Diamond Bar High School Symphony Orchestra has been crowned the best in the nation.

The 140-member orchestra won the National School Orchestra Finals at New York’s Lincoln Center.

As Grand Champions, Diamond Bar High received the prestigious Orchestra Cup award.

Guest conductor Sey Ahn and instrumental music director Steve Acciani led the stellar performance of Brahms 4th Symphony.

The top eight schools in the country were invited to compete in the Finals held March 8 in the Alice Tully Hall.

“Just to be invited is fantastic,” Acciani said. Two years ago DBHS came in 2nd place.

“This year we picked a very difficult piece. Every person in the entire group has to be at a very high level just to even attempt it,” the orchestra director explained.

The elite musicians at Diamond Bar High were up for the challenge.

“We had the right combination of great wind players, great string players, and great percussion players,” said Acciani, a 2015 Grammy Music Educator Finalist.

“At the beginning we all knew the Brahms was a super difficult piece and we’ve played difficult pieces before,” said senior violinist Grace Chin.

Diamond Bar High School is the 2014 National Grammy Signature School.

Leading up to the festival the dedicated musicians put in weeks of after-school and weekend rehearsals. 

“It was a really good moment for us because we had put in so much work,” shared junior cellist Eric Zhu.

“Eventually it all paid off,“ Chin added.

“The kids were just phenomenal. To be able that pull it off at the level they did is remarkable,” Acciani said.

The DBHS performance earned a standing ovation from the other competitors and high praise from the judging panel.

“The judges commented that it was one of the finest orchestras they’ve ever heard,” Acciani said.

The 40-minute presentation was everything the group hoped it could possibly be.

“When we played in the big hall it sounded really amazing. Everything was on point and it felt like it was like worth the time and effort we put into it!” Zhu stated.

“It was one of those moments where everything connects. You’re able to take what the composer intended and communicate that to the audience. It was something pretty spectacular,” Acciani added.


The Diamond Bar High School Symphony Orchestra won 1st place at the 2015 National School Orchestra Finals at Lincoln Center. 

DBHS seniors Bridget Pei, flute and piccolo player, and Wei An Chen, violinist, show the prestigious Orchestra Cup award. 

The 140-member Diamond Bar High School Symphony Orchestra celebrate their 1st place Orchestra Cup award while sightseeing at New York City’s Rockefeller Center.