Jackson Serna and Ruben Rangel will depart on March 6 with Firebaugh High School Choir Director, Michael Gutierrez, to spend three days at a prestigious choir program, the American Choral Directors Association in Pasadena, California. They will be there four days.

The boys auditioned in September, 2023, and were selected from among more than 100 other high school and college students, just for basses alone, all vying for the opportunity to participate in this incredible program. It took hours of one-on-one lessons and practice time to prepare the boys for the audition and for the performance as well.

When not working with the whole group, Gutierrez will work one-on-one again to support the boys with any area of struggle.

Gutierrez, who has been the choir director for nine years, said he feels excited.

“It’s one of my favorite things to do because we always talk about providing students with opportunities to showcase their talent. It’s a great way to see where their hard work takes them,” he said.

This is the sixth consecutive year Firebaugh students have been selected to attend program. Firebaugh High School has also sent students to the Central Region Honor Choir.

Last year, Serna attended the National Honor Choir. Students have attended four different states.

The ACDA camp is geared toward high achieving musicians. There, the camp will bring students together from five western states. Vocalists will learn from cultures of other states in addition to learning from their master director.

Students will prepare the music on their own, and the director will help singers to perfect it.

Serna said he feels nervous (despite having attended the event last year) because he will encounter a new bunch of talent. He is, however, eagerly awaiting gaining new experiences from the directors.

Rangel was pleased to have been selected to attend the event. He looks forward to working with the conductor, Dr. Rollo Dillworth.

On Jan. 24, Ruben’s father and grandfather barbecued chicken on Chris Cardella’s grill as a fundraiser. The Music Booster program will have another fundraiser, dinner and a show, where musicians will showcase their talent on Mar. 23 at the Firebaugh Community Center.

There will be a silent auction and donations are welcome. Anyone interested in attending Dinner and a Show, or donating an item for the auction, may call Candi Rangel at 559-850-5911.

Samantha Rangel