Student musicians from Wilson Classical High School earned high honors at the recent San Francisco Heritage Festival, and the school’s longtime drama teacher Randy Bowden has been nominated for the inaugural Excellence in Theatre Education Award to be presented by Carnegie Mellon University and the Tony Awards.
Wilson’s symphonic wind and symphony string musicians performed well enough at the San Francisco festival to qualify for the Honors Festival next year at Carnegie Hall. At the San Francisco event, Wilson’s jazz band brought home a second place award. The strings earned top honors with first place and the Outstanding Orchestra Award. The winds earned a second place honor, and both the wind and string groups earned the Adjudicators Award.
Out of 815 students at the festival, seven were selected for the Maestro Award. Two of the seven selected were Wilson students: Fabian Nunez on trumpet and Sarah Birong on violin. Michelle Ellis is the music director at Wilson.
Meanwhile, 43-year drama instructor Bowden is up for an award that will bring $10,000 to the winning teacher’s drama department. The award will be announced at this year’s June 7 Tony Awards ceremony in New York City.
“It’s an honor just to be nominated,” Bowden said. “But I would be thrilled and humbled to get the money for the kids – that’s what excites me!”