La Cueva HS orchestra representing New Mexico at national festival

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In just a few hours, a local high school orchestra will be making history. They’ll become the first public school from New Mexico to qualify for a national competition.

La Cueva High School Camerata has been preparing for this day for a year. They say they’re more than ready to represent New Mexico at the National Orchestra Festival.

“I think it’s a really big opportunity for us. We don’t really get a lot of opportunities to compete as an orchestra. It’s kind of our way of proving ourselves,” said Daisy Mee, high school senior.

Orchestra Director Rebecca Simons says they auditioned last spring by submitting a tape. They found out in May that they were accepted and haven’t stopped practicing since.

They even went through what she called an “orchestra boot camp,” which consisted of several hours-long practice sessions before the first class bell even rang.

This weekend, Simons says they will perform in front of four judges in which they’ll be judged on accuracy, tone and balance of ensemble.

La Cueva High School Camerata is different from many orchestras, in which they must audition to even get on the team. Simons believes that’s what will separate them from the rest.

“They work so hard. They have a great attitude. They are very driven and so disciplined. They take constructive criticism every day and they come back and want to get better the next day,” said Simons.

The three-day competition kicks off Thursday morning and runs through Saturday. A winner will be crowned Saturday morning.

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