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  • Jackson Tiengtum

A Key Change for Tesoro Instrumental Music

Over the past two decades, Tesoro’s instrumental music program touched the lives of thousands of Titan students, family, and friends. Though the end of the 2022-2023 school year saw the retirement of beloved director Andy Magaña, his legacy will live on in the musicians he taught.

Magaña first started sharing his love for music in elementary school, teaching his friends and neighbors the basics of guitar. Since then, he taught students in Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Commercial Music, AP Music Theory, String Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra.

Magaña spent 19 of his 37 teaching years at Tesoro, beginning his career as a Titan during the 2004-2005 school year. In less than two decades with him at the helm, the Tesoro Instrumental Music Program accumulated numerous awards and embarked on countless musical tours, both domestically and internationally. The tours included festivals and competitions in Florida, Chicago, San Francisco, London, and four top placements in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. In 2015, Magana’s Tesoro was one of five American schools named for the Grammy Foundation Signature School of Excellence. In Magana’s final year last year, the Titan Regiment won its first silver medal in the SCSBOA marching band championships.

Magaña’s high standards gave Titan musicians an opportunity, and the musicians always seemed to outperform.

“My expectations were always exceeded because of the great, talented, dedicated students,” said Magaña.

Former Mater Dei and El Dorado High School music director, Taylor Smith, has taken over the program. With music education and performance degrees from Riverside City College, National University, and Cal State Long Beach, Smith brings a seasoned and capable musical mind to Tesoro Instrumental Music.

In addition to his educational experiences, Smith is also a professional musician. His performances range from being part of a winning Blue Devils brass section at the Drum Corps International finals to concerts in Microsoft Theater, one of the largest indoor stages in the United States.

Smith hopes to preserve Tesoro’s strong instrumental community and maintain and develop musical excellence.

“Tesoro has a reputation for having one of the best music departments in the county with an equally great community and support system,” said Smith.


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