Webb Ninth-grader Chosen for SoCal Honor Band
Webb School of California ninth-grader Hanbo Xu will perform with the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association High School Honor Band, which draws from more than 1,000 schools across the region.
Xu, who plays the clarinet, will join the band for rehearsals on April 8 and 9 and a concert on April 9 at Santa Monica High School. It will be his third performance for an SCSBOA band. Previously, he performed twice as principal clarinetist for the organization’s middle school honor band.
“I love music,” Xu said. “The clarinet, for me, is an extension of my voice. When I play the clarinet, I can express my feelings freely. It also allows me to relax and take a break from the work and stress during the day.”
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Xu’s tryout involved submitting an MP3. Last year, he submitted a video recording. In his first year, before COVID, he was able to audition in person.
“Personally, I enjoy the in-person auditions much better than the recording submissions because I believe auditions reflect our skill levels much better. Auditions also allow you to hone your performance skills,” he said.
Xu primarily plays the Bb clarinet, or soprano clarinet in Bb, the most popular type of clarinet. He also plays an A clarinet, which is also a soprano with a slightly different timbre preferred for some classical music pieces.
In addition to performing with the honor band, he is the principal clarinetist with the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra and plays with the Webb Ensemble.
Xu, for whom music is a hobby, plans to become an engineer.