CHS Symphony Wins 4th Consecutive State Championship

The Centennial High School Symphony Orchestra

The Centennial High School Symphony Orchestra

For the fourth year in a row, the Centennial High School (CHS) Symphony Orchestra earned top honors at 2017 New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) State Symphony Orchestra Competition, winning first place in the 5A/6A Symphony Orchestra Division, March 31 – April 1 at Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, NM.

“The CHS Symphony is made up of talented band and orchestra students that are challenged every year with new and higher-level repertoire,” said CHS Orchestra Director Daniel Rivera. “Through the years the orchestra has more gained more confidence, matured, and grown in numbers. It has become a family that is attracting hardworking students, supportive parents and community.”

The CHS Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Rivera and CHS Band Director Philip Ramos, is the only orchestra to date which has earned a first place win in the 5A/6A Symphony Orchestra Division since the competition was established in 2014. Within the 5A/6A Division, the CHS Symphony Orchestra earned an average score of 97 points; followed by the Las Cruces High School Symphony Orchestra, which earned an average score of 95.33 points; and the Oñate High School Symphony Orchestra, which earned an average score of 88.67 points.

“Mr. Rivera has taught me loyalty, discipline and compassionate leadership. Mr. Rivera has been a mentor to us all, and he will be the teacher I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Annie Quintana, a CHS senior and orchestra student liaison.

All of the performing groups in the competition were awarded ratings—on a 100-point scale—by a panel of judges who ranked ensembles based on: tone, intonation, rhythm, technique, balance, blend, interpretation/musicianship, choice of literature, and stage presentation. The competition featured seven performance divisions: middle school, junior high/mid high, high school A-3A, 4A, 5A and 6A.

The competition was open to all NMAA member high schools, junior high schools and middle schools, and all performers must have met NMAA eligibility requirements in order to participate, according to the NMAA website.

The award-winning CHS Orchestra is has consistently earned accolades and superior ratings at concert and sight-reading festivals since Rivera started the program in 2012— the same year the high school first opened. Rivera has spent the past 39 years directing orchestras throughout the Southwest.

For more information, contact LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren,, (575) 527-5808.