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December, 21, 2023
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM




Middle School Jazz Ensemble


Conductor Thumb
Elijah Ontiveros

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

Hornedo Middle School is located in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, Texas and first opened in 1994. 1300 students attend Hornedo making it the largest middle school in the El Paso Independent School District. With the support of their dedicated faculty and families, Hornedo students are academically successful, well rounded, and prepared for the future. Most of the student population are natives of the growing border city with a large amount of military transfers. Hornedo has a culture of excellence extending in areas of academics, athletics, and fine arts. The fine arts department sets high standards and has brought out the best of the students in band, orchestra, and choir. The Hornedo band and orchestra consistently have the highest amount of students participating in the All Region groups. The band program focuses on the fundamentals of music while creating a fun and welcoming environment to allow for student growth and success. Most students join the program as 6th graders starting in beginning band and work their way up into Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Honor Band. Students have the opportunity to join the jazz band in 7th grade, but are able to join in 6th grade with prior musical experience on a jazz instrument. The Honor and Symphonic band have received superior ratings at EPISD Concert/Sight Reading Evaluation and UIL year after year. The Jazz Ensemble consists of individuals from all backgrounds and is focused on creating independent learners while allowing students to express themselves and grow their love of music with a simple goal in mind: sound good. The group is composed of students from Honor Band, Symphonic Band, and Orchestra and participate in many extra curricular activities, such as National Junior Honor Society, football, soccer, cross country, basketball, and the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra. Members of the jazz band have participated in All Region Band, All Region Jazz, and All Region Orchestra. The jazz ensemble has received superior ratings at the EPISD Jazz Festival and has won the middle school division of the Hanks Jazz Festival in 2022 and 2023. Most recently, the Hornedo Jazz Ensemble was the selected invited middle school jazz ensemble for the 2023 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention held in San Antonio, Texas, making it the first time a group from El Paso has been invited to the conference since 1984.

Hornedo Jazz Ensemble

Conductor's Bio

Elijah Ontiveros is in his 4th year of teaching as the Assistant Band Director at Hornedo Middle School. Mr. Ontiveros is in charge of the Hornedo Symphonic Band, Hornedo Jazz Ensemble, and beginning brass. His groups have received superior ratings at the EPISD Concert and Sight Reading Evaluation as well as the UIL Concert and Sight Reading Evaluation. While under his direction, the Hornedo Jazz Ensemble has received Superior Ratings at the EPISD Jazz Invitational, won the middle school division of the Hanks Jazz Fest in 2022 & 2023, and received its first ever invitation to be the Invited Middle School Jazz Ensemble at the 2023 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic & Convention. Mr. Ontiveros is a member of TMEA and TJEA. Mr. Ontiveros received his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at El Paso, where he studied trumpet with Dr. Nancy Taylor. While at UTEP, he was in the Wind Symphony under the direction of Dr. Ronald Hufstader, followed by Dr. Bradley Genevro. He was also in the Symphony Band and Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Kenneth Capshaw. Additionally, Mr. Ontiveros was a member of the UTEP Trumpet Ensemble, which competed at the National Trumpet Competition and were awarded the Outstanding Student Award in Arts and Humanities presented by the Texas Board of Regents in 2018. Mr. Ontiveros grew up listening to all sorts of music in his household as his dad, Enrique Ontiveros, was a band director who has recently retired. Jazz was one of the things his father brought him up with amongst many other song genres, such as rock-and-roll and oldies. Mr. Ontiveros found jazz to be very relaxing and grew fascinated with how people could improvise solos through chord changes. His passion for jazz grew as he started taking private lessons in high school with Jawn Glass, who was a phenomenal teacher and jazz musician. Mr. Glass emphasized how important style was and showed him the basics of improv. Mr. Ontiveros is happily engaged to his fiancé Melina Banuelos, who is a Senior Engineer with the County of El Paso. He enjoys playing on the adult softball leagues on Sunday’s and golf any opportunity he gets.