Kings County Arts in Action

March 2021 Edition

Brought To You By Kings County Office of Education

Our Purpose

Arts education, which includes visual arts, music, drama, and media arts, is an important part of a well-rounded education. This newsletter serves to highlight the amazing work with the arts being done by school districts within our county.

Arts Education Throughout Kings County

Corcoran High Drapery and Surrealism Artwork

Artwork: Denise Moreno

JC Montgomery Stories with Style

JCM students created artwork and raps to tell stories of their lives. These Stories with Style are now live on the JC Montgomery YouTube channel.
Settle Down JCM Student
Attack - JCM Student

Pioneer Middle School Celebrates Music in Our Schools

The Pioneer Middle School Bands had a wonderful time celebrating Music in Our Schools Month by participating in the United States Marine Band "March Mania". Students learned about the life of John Philip Sousa and how his career in music has impacted the band world even to this day. The students were especially surprised to learn that he brought his band to Hanford to perform in the Civic Auditorium in 1926. There were several activities leading up to the 9 marches that were selected for the "bracket" to select their favorites. They are hoping that CDH guidelines are revised soon to allow them to play their instruments at school.

Earl F. Johnson Artwork: Like Father, Like Son

Big picture

Hanford High Colors and Textures

Hanford High School students in Ms. Bejarano's classes created color wheels, texture/pattern pieces, and projects where they "tried on" the style of a master.

Hanford West 2021 Achievements

  • In January, select students of the Hanford West High Choirs joined in song in an effort to inspire each and everyone of us to live together in harmony. Incorporated in "We Are the Voice" by Stan Spottswood is the well-known and beloved “My Country, 'Tis of Thee,” written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831.
  • In honor of National Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17th), the Hanford West Musical Theatre presented this song written in 1965 by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. They found inspiration by the meaningful lyrics and beautiful melody. The students hope it will inspire everyone to spread kindness and love "not just for some, but for everyone!"
  • Three students from Hanford West High School Choir were selected to perform in the the California Choral Directors Association ALL STATE Honor Choir. This is an amazing opportunity for high school students from around the state of California to sing in select choirs under the direction of nationally and internationally known conductors. The All State Honor Choir is “the cream of the crop”, bringing together the finest high school singers from the entire state of California.
We Are The Voice
What the World Needs Now Is Love

Woodrow Wilson Student Earns All-State Band Honors

From Band Director Bill Wilkinson:


Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School 8th grader, Brandon Vasquez, was selected to the 2021 California Band Directors Association Junior High School All-State Honor Band. Brandon, who started playing alto saxophone as a 5th grader at Hanford’s MLK elementary school was one of only sixteen 7th and 8th grade alto saxophone students selected to the all-state band. Brandon made auditioning for all-state a goal last spring after then 8th grader Fernando Medina made the 2020 All-State Honor Band on trumpet. Subsequently, Fernando, now a freshman at Hanford West HS made this year’s high school All-State Honor Band - quite the accomplishment for a high school freshman! Band students auditioning for the All-State Honor Band will spend many months of hours upon hours of practice and training in preparation for what in the end, at least for the junior high audition, amounts to less than three minutes of a recorded audition that will determine if they are chosen for this honor.


It is not commonplace for students in our area of the California to make All-State. Though there were 250 students selected to this year’s junior high school honor band, Brandon was one of only five students selected from the San Joaquin Valley; the other four were from Clovis and Bakersfield respectively. The overwhelming majority of the students making this year’s junior high band reside in the major population areas of Southern California and the Bay Area. A common thread of most students that make all-state honor band is the private lessons. The ability to gain students access to qualified private instruction in our rural area of the state is a challenge due to travelling to the instructor if out of town as well as the financial obligation associated with the private coaching. Both Brandon and Fernando benefitted from private instructors here in Hanford who masterfully guided them in their preparation. Brandon was able to take saxophone lessons from Hanford West graduate and current touring member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Tanner Olivas and Fernando studied trumpet privately with Hanford native and HESD band director Jennifer Locher during his 8th grade year to prepare for his audition.


Typically, the All-State Honor Band would convene at the California All-State Music Educators Conference (CASMEC), held each February, where the all-state ensembles would rehearse over three-days and then perform a concert under the direction of a nationally recognized conductor. This year, due to covid, the ensembles rehearsed and recorded their concert music from home to produce a virtual concert that will be released later this spring. We are grateful for all CASMEC partner organizations to find a way to provide our students the opportunity to have an all-state experience!

VAPA Arts Resources for Educators

The VAPA committee has compiled a list of resources for arts educators.

The Kings County Office of Education VAPA website has resources and information about the arts in Kings County.

Next KCOE Arts Update

Kings County Office of Education will release our next arts update in May 2021. Submissions may be sent to Liz Norris. Districts and sites are responsible for verifying that photos may be publicly released. Photos should be submitted in groupings of three due to the gallery format of S'more. Videos of live performances may also be accepted.