CDO Orchestra

Members of the Canyon del Oro High School Orchestra at their 2016 Carnegie Hall performance. The orchestra is raising money to play in the Heritage Festival in Boston next year.

The Canyon del Oro High School orchestra has stayed busy in 2018. Throughout the year, the young men and women have attended multiple performance festivals and received numerous awards. 

According to CDO orchestra director Toru Tagawa, highlights include: the Aboda Festival in Phoenix, where they received an “excellent” rating; the All State Festival, which selected multiple students to perform; and the Heritage Festival in Anaheim, California, where the CDO collective was awarded a gold, first place rating. 

“We received first place which is, of course, very good.” Tagawa said, who also won the Adjudicator award and the Instrumental Sweepstakes Award. “We hope to continue.”

Coming off their series of wins throughout 2018, the high school orchestra is setting their sights on another Heritage Festival, this time in Boston. But it’s more than a dream. For the multiple award winning music ensemble, performing at the 2019 Boston Heritage Festival is an attainable next step. 

“They work so hard for events and trips, and it always comes out amazing.” Tagawa said. “Their playing gets better because they have this goal.” 

The Boston trip is planned for March 28 to April 1, 2019. According to Tagawa, it will be an opportunity for the students to better their musical abilities, and serves as a lesson in other school subjects, and even life experience. 

“Going to Boston will be great for the students,” Tagawa said. “There is music there, but it has so much history as well. It’s meaningful for them as students, because they learn about the city so much in school.” 

The CDO orchestra is currently hoping to raise money for the flights and hotel rooms for 30 students. Beyond these initial costs, there are also fees for bus and equipment rentals, as well as the big one for students: meals. 

This won’t be the first time CDO orchestra students traveled across the nation to perform at a prestigious event, either. In March 2017, the CDO orchestra played at Carnegie Hall in New York City with fellow Dorado Adam Boyles, professor of orchestra at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Performing at the Boston Heritage Festival will again give the CDO students a chance to work with professor Boyles. 

In hopes of raising funds (roughly $1500 per student), the CDO orchestra is hosting multiple shows in the future, including a CDO “Feeder Concert” on Dec. 12 at the high school auditorium (25 W. Calle Concordia) at 6p.m. The Feeder Concert features music from elementary, middle and high school students, including select students from the CDO band. Tickets will be sold at the event for a raffle drawing to win a vacation in Pinetop, Arizona. Tickets sold at the door. 

For more information, visit or follow the CDO Orchestra Booster Club.  

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