With nine Best Community for Music Education titles, Garland ISD’s outstanding Fine Arts education is evident at every campus. It is also evident in two district students. Garland High School junior Zachary Nguyen and Lakeview Centennial High School junior Rafael Escalera were recently named 2018 Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest (TSSEC) Outstanding Performers.
TSSEC was held in May at the University of Texas at Austin, and of the approximately 100,000 students who participated in regional UIL music contests, just 25,000 advanced to this state level. At the beginning of the school year, Nguyen and Escalera received commendation letters from the state UIL director naming them as Outstanding Performers. Just 2-3 percent of all competitors earned this award, and to commemorate it, Nguyen and Escalera also received Olympic-style gold medals.
“I’d like to extend my personal congratulations,” commented Board President Jed Reed. “If you have never been a part of a Solo and Ensemble Contest, you have yet to experience pressure—especially since the entire work has to be memorized. Not all of us are as adept and have the skill of performance, but special congratulations to you.”