by Jennifer Frakes | portrait courtesy of Photography by Lisa K

I look at honor bands as an excellent opportunity to grow as a musician and play with extraordinary people,” says Omar Burkhart, who was recently chosen as the first chair of the All-California Wind Symphony honor group of the California All-State Honor Band.

This is the second year in a row that Omar, a senior at Westview High, was chosen to play in the All-State Honor Band – a prestigious group that includes the cream of the crop of California high school musicians. Omar has also received national accolades as an alternate to the two tenor saxophone positions on the Honor Band of America, which represents the top high school musicians in the nation.

Omar – who has been playing the saxophone since fifth grade – has a grounded view of his musical talents and achievements. “Whenever I accomplish one goal, five more new areas I need to improve on pop up,” says Omar.

In addition to his recognition for classical music, Omar is also an accomplished jazz musician. He plays for the Westview High Gold Jazz Band and two of the top independent high school jazz groups in the San Diego region. He also enjoys playing flute and clarinet and is active in Westview High musical productions. “I have recently become proficient enough on the flute to play in pit orchestras for musicals and on a more semi-professional level,” says Omar.
[quote]“It is a great feeling to give back to the community while doing something I love.” ~ Omar Burkhart Westview High Senior [/quote]

Omar is also passionate about giving back to the community. He is a member of the board of Westview High’s branch of the Tri-M Music Honor Society – a group dedicated to providing free music to the community and those in need. “It is a great feeling to give back to the community while doing something I love,” says Omar, who is also an AP scholar.

As he looks to college next year, Omar hopes to minor in music and major in biochemistry. “In five years I see myself in medical school, and in ten years I hope to be a doctor. No matter what I do, I want to keep playing music. I feel like my music is a part of me,” says Omar.