High School All-State Orchestras

2023 High School All-State Orchestras

February 16-19, 2023, Fresno, CA

CODA High School All-State Symphony Orchestra, Gisèle Ben-Dor, Conductor
Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams
Sensemaya by Silvestre Revueltas
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 by Ludwig van Beethoven
II. Scherzo

CODA High School All-State String Orchestra, Dr. Mark Laycock, Conductor
Starburst by Jessie Montgomery
All Things Majestic by Jennifer Higdon
II. String Lake
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Hoe-Down from Rodeo by Aaron Copland

Featured Composers

Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) was born in Santiago Papasquiaro, Durango, Mexico in 1899. Silvestre was one of three siblings that would become the pride of Mexico. There was the painter Fermin, pioneer of Mexican muralism and of avant-garde movements in plastic arts,  Jose the writer, author of vigorous and very intense novels such as El lute humane (Human Mourning), El apando (Solitary Confinement), and Silvestre, the eldest. Silvestre Revueltas began studying the violin at an early age at the National Conservatory in Mexico City and the Juarez Institute when he was 12. Later in his life he would move to Austin, Texas to study violin and St. Edward College and continue on to Chicago Music College. Revueltas began his professional career in the US playing violin in a theater orchestra in San Antonio, Texas, and conducting an orchestra in Mobile, Alabama. In 1929, Carlos Chávez invited Revueltas to be the assistant conductor at the Orquesta Sinfónica de México, where he remained until 1935. In 1936, Revueltas shifted his focus to film music. 

Revueltas’s compositions are known for their colorful orchestration and distinctive use of rhythm. He frequently incorporated hemiolas and septuple or quintuple meters and many of his works suggest folk derivations.These stylistic features can be heard in one of the works of music that will be performed CODA High School All-State Symphony Orchestra, Sensemayá, one of Revueltas most well known pieces. It’s inspired by the poem of the same name by Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén. The poem itself is subtitled “Chant to kill a snake,” and paints the picture of an Afro-Cuban ritualistic killing of a snake.

Listen to the poem 

Watch a performance of Sensemayá

Jessie Montgomery (b. 1981) is a violinist, composer, and educator and one of today’s most noteworthy voices in classical music. Montgomery began composing in high school and would go on to attend NYU to pursue a graduate degree in composition for film and multimedia. In 2008 she composed her breakout work, Strum.  Her music entwines classical elements with folk music, spirituals, improvisation, R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and elements of poetry, making her work a unique experience for performers and audiences alike.  Highlights of Montgomery’s growing body of work include Five Slave Songs (2018), Records for a Vanishing City (2016), Caught by the Wind (2016), and Starbust(2012) which will be performed by the CODA High School All-State String Orchestra.

Starburst was written in 2012 for “Sphinx Virtuosi,” the professional touring group of  Sphinx Organization. Starburst takes its title from Montgomery’s feeling that the members of the Sphinx Virtuosi are like new stars in a galaxy. From the composer, “This brief one-movement work for string orchestra is a play on imagery of rapidly changing musical colors. Exploding gestures are juxtaposed with gentle fleeting melodies in an attempt to create a multidimensional soundscape. A common definition of a starburst: “the rapid formation of large numbers of new stars in a galaxy at a rate high enough to alter the structure of the galaxy significantly” lends itself almost literally to the nature of the performing ensemble who premieres the work, The Sphinx Virtuosi, and I wrote the piece with their dynamic in mind.”

Watch a performance of Starburst

Audition Excerpts and Instructions


Scale requirements

Audition excerpts


CODA runs the High School All-State Orchestra auditions for string players only.  Wind, Brass and Percussion students who wish to audition for All-State Orchestra must do so through CBDA.  For more information please go to www.cbda.org.

All recordings must be submitted electronically by December 1, 2022.

Student Instructions:
2023 CODA All-State Orchestras Recording Instructions
Student Information Form (for students to submit to their director)

All PDF files can be viewed and printed using Adobe Reader.