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Mira Costa Students Bring Home Huge Wins

Feb 14, 2024 08:59AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo via Mira Costa Bands

It's been a huge week for Mira Costa kids, who brought home major national and local victories. 

Jazz Band Takes Top National Prize

Mira Costa High School's Jazz Band won the "Super Bowl" of jazz competitions over the past weekend, taking home a first place award at the 2024 National Jazz Festival.

(Photo credit: Mira Costa Bands)

Mira Costa’s own Jazz 1 was not only crowned as Champions of Division L-1 (which is reserved for big bands from the largest schools), but earned the highest score given to any of the bands and combos at this year’s National Jazz Festival.

Additionally, Ewan McPhee (12th grade - trumpet) won the 2024 National Jazz Festival Outstanding Musician for the MCHS Jazz 1 Band and one of only three Outstanding Musician awards given to individual students that performed in ensembles in Division L-1. Miles McPhee (12th grade - saxophone) was selected to be in the National Jazz Festival Diplomat (All-Star)
Band directed by Wayne Tucker.

The students performed under the direction of renowned Mira Costa Band Director Joel Carlson.

“I knew two weeks into the school year that this band had the talent to perform on a national stage," said Carlson. "They worked so hard and put in the time and effort. They went beyond what was asked of them and exceeded my highest expectations for what a high school band can be. I always tell my students to choose a path of excellence, and the reward will follow.”

Jazz 1 band members include: Saxophone: Colin Freelin, Morgan Griffiths, Mikayla Grothe, Jacob Handzlik, Miles McPhee; Trombone: Nick Clausen, Chuan Eliezer, Logan Elliott, Shan Kwak; Trumpet: Eva Asiddao, Devan Malik, Ewan McPhee, Colin Mukai; Rhythm: Diego Barrios, Ever Bauer, Gavin Caleo, Christian Camacho, Anthony Imbagliazzo, Jared Manasse, and Christofer Nahlinder.

National Merit Scholars

All seven of Mira Costa's National Merit Semi-Finalists have been named National Merit Scholars. Those students are Kina Desai, Veronica Fish, Charles Hiatt, William Kiely, Naomi Kim, Adam Manasfi, and Mia Roman-Wilson.

(Photo credit: MBUSD)

More than 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit
Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, represented the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist had to submit a detailed scholarship application. The National Merit Scholarship winners were selected from this group of finalists on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Of the more than 16,000 semifinalists, approximately 15,000 advanced to the finalist level.

Cheer Team

Mira Costa's cheer team has been in Florida competing in the Universal Cheerleaders Association's (UCA's) National High School Cheerleading Championship at Disney World.

(Photo credit: Mira Costa Cheer)

The girls' Gameday team placed 7th in the country and the Traditional team placed 6th.

La Vista Newspaper

Mira Costa's student newspaper, La Vista, took home three first place awards at the L.A. Times' High School Insider Youth Journalism Conference at Loyola Marymount University this past weekend.


(Photo credit: La Vista Media)

The team brought home top awards in news writing, feature writing, and opinion writing.

Boys' and Girls' Soccer

The Mira Costa boys' and girls' soccer teams have been tearing it up on the pitch as they compete in the CIF-SS Open Division semi-finals. The Mira Costa girls' team plays Santa Margarita today at 5:00 p.m. at Waller Stadium. The Mira Costa boys' team lost their first semifinal playoff game against Arlington on Tuesday, 2-1, but they have a second chance when they play Arlington again on Friday. The team with the most goals after the two games will advance to the CIF-SS finals.

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