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Katy ISD Music Ensembles Recognized as National Winners in the Mark of Excellence Awards

(KATY ISD) - Eleven Katy ISD music ensembles were recently recognized as national winners in the Foundation for Music Education Mark of Excellence Competition. This year, the national event received 376 entries from 39 states. The Mark of Excellence project seeks to recognize and award outstanding achievements in performance by high school and middle/junior high band, choirs and orchestras.


“The Mark of Excellence Award creates a unique competitive environment that allows ensembles to compare their performance quality to other outstanding groups from across the country,” said Damon Archer, Executive Director of Fine Arts. “To have 11 national ensemble winners, plus four state winners, is a reflection of the high level of teaching and learning taking place within these programs, as well as the commitment and support of these programs by their campus and school community.”


The following choir and orchestra groups were recognized as national winners:


Mark of Excellence National Winners:

  • Beck Junior High Honor Orchestra, Director Barbara Nelsen

  • Beckendorff Junior High Honor Orchestra, Director Amy Williams

  • Cinco Ranch High School Sinfonia Orchestra, Directors Brett Nelsen and Oscar Vera

  • Seven Lakes Junior High Chamber Orchestra, Directors Jennifer Gingell and Bethany Hagin

  • Seven Lakes High School Sinfonia Orchestra, Director Desiree Overree

  • Seven Lakes High School Symphony Orchestra, Directors Desiree Overree, John Mays and Sean Carlton

  • Jordan High School Symphonic Band, Director Daniel Galloway

Mark of Excellence Commended National Winners:

  • Adams Junior High Honor Band, Director Darlene Blose

  • Cinco Ranch Junior High Symphony Orchestra, Directors Laura Vu and Barbara Jones

  • Taylor High School Chamber Orchestra, Director Clinton Capshaw

  • WoodCreek Junior High Chamber Orchestra, Director Klayton Hoefler

  • WoodCreek Junior High Honor Band, Director Bobby Guess


Additionally, the Citation of Excellence project seeks to recognize and award outstanding achievement in performance by non-varsity high school and middle/junior high choir, bands and orchestras. The following groups were recognized as Citation of Excellence State Winners:


  • Adams Junior High Symphonic Band, Director Randallyn Holdford

  • Seven Lakes Junior High Sinfonietta, Directors Bethany Hagin and Jennifer Gingell

  • Seven Lakes High School Cambiata Orchestra, Director Desiree Overree

  • Seven Lakes High School Lyrica Orchestra, Director Sean Carlton


Beckendorff Junior High Honor Orchestra



Seven Lakes High School Sinfonia Orchestra

Seven Lakes High School Symphony Orchestra

Cinco Ranch High School Sinfonia Orchestra

Seven Lakes Junior High Chamber Orchestra


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