few clouds


Laguna Beach

LBHS Wind Ensemble plays at Carnegie Hall

The Laguna Beach High School Wind Ensemble was honored to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City on April 1. Under the direction of Jeremy Chung, students played on the main Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage, a renowned venue that has been hosting professional performances since 1891. 

“Very few musicians can say that they performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, where the greatest performers of all time have stood,” said Kenneth Chu, a trumpet player and junior at LBHS. “The whole experience of traveling with the LBHS Wind Ensemble to perform in one of the world’s greatest venues was once-in-a-lifetime.”

LBHS Wind concert

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

The LBHS Wind Ensemble takes a bow after their Carnegie Hall performance in New York

LBHS was selected through a nationwide audition process based on recordings and previous programs. “This year’s Carnegie Hall performance has been years in the making,” said Mr. Chung. “This group of seniors started working with me in sixth grade at Thurston Middle School. I’m so proud to say that all of them stayed together through the years and had the opportunity to perform in such a legendary concert hall.” 

When Mr. Chung joined the Laguna Beach Unified School District in 2010, there were only 17 students in the LBHS Band, but his instrumental music classes grew steadily over the years. 

“We just had 75 students perform at Carnegie Hall,” said Chung. “The students all worked extremely hard to make this performance possible, with generous support from parents, administration, and the school district.”

LBHS Wind group

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Mr. Chung began teaching music to this group of high school seniors when they were in 6th grade, and they have continued to play together every year

The trip to New York was a learning experience for the musicians beyond their culminating performance. The day before their concert, the ensemble participated in a private workshop that gave them the opportunity to rehearse, polish their skills, and get advice from Dr. Peter Boonshaft, the nationally recognized music clinician, author, and Professor of Music at Hofstra University, New York. 

During their free time, the students toured famous New York sites such as Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the 9/11 Memorial, and the American Museum of Natural History, and they attended a Broadway musical. The trip offered these young musicians the chance to build group camaraderie. 

Said Chu, “I am very fortunate to be a part of this program. Not only do I have the privilege of pursuing music with some of the most talented and interesting people I have ever met, but the band also provides numerous opportunities to enrich our learning. This trip brought me even closer to my friends in the band through a shared, unforgettable experience.”

LBHS Women’s Shortboard Surf Team wins High School State Team Championships for second year

On Saturday, April 13, the Laguna Beach High School Women’s Shortboard Surf Team was crowned Team Champion at the Scholastic Surf Series High School State Championships for the second year in a row.  Kayla Coscino, Tess Booth, and Kalohe Danbara led the way.

The women represented the school in the team competition of the contest with eight high schools competing in the various divisions. 

LBHS Womens three leaders

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Alisa Cairns

Tess Booth, Kayla Coscino, and Kalohe Danbara

The event was held at Oceanside South Jetty. Coaches Alisa Cairns and Scott Finn report, “It was a nice sunny day. The surf was a little tricky, but decent in the three to four foot surf range and with light winds. Our Women’s Team as a whole has been so strong the last three years in the various events with plenty of depth and consistency.” 

Saturday’s team consisting of Coscino, Booth, and Danbara worked really well together, each doing their part to take the team all the way to the end with the major win and really solid performances along the way. In the semi-finals, Laguna was up against Carlsbad, and they won 15-6 with Booth, Coscino and Danbara going 1, 2, 3.

LBHS Womens winners

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Alisa Cairns

Kayla Coscino and Tess Booth

The coaches say, “Our women were on a roll and went into the final against a familiar San Clemente Team. This was a very hard fought battle with each of the team’s surfers getting some solid rides. Coscino and Booth had some nice explosive turns on a couple of sets that seemed to do the trick and gain good scores from the judges.”

In the end Coscino and Booth went 1 and 2 with Danbara in 6th place, which was enough to get the big win over San Clemente 12-9. 

LBHS Womens boards

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Alisa Cairns 

Kalohe Danbara, Kayla Coscino, and Tess Booth

Coach Cairns and Finn want to thank the parents who came down and supported the women explaining, “The dates of this event were tough for many of our team members with it taking place over spring break and Lifeguard training, causing several of our usual Men’s Team members to not be available. We were unable to enter any of the other Divisions, however, our Women’s Shortboard surfers represented the school big time!”

Laguna Beach Water Polo’s 14U girls A team wins gold medal at the Cal Cup State Finals

By Steve Riches

From April 5th through the 7th, Laguna Beach Water Polo’s 14U girls A team played in the Cal Cup State Finals and fought hard for their winning scores. It was a weekend of wins, culminating in a gold medal victory for the team.

On Friday evening, the girls were in Norco to win their first game 16-3 against the Stanford Club team from Northern California. 

Then on Saturday, they played two games in Lake Elsinore, first beating the 805 B team from Santa Barbara 16-1 and then the United team from Huntington Beach 9-4. 

Sunday the girls were in Corona for the first win of the day, 9-2 against the Lamorinda team from Northern California. This was followed in the afternoon by the championship game against the tough SOCAL team of Tustin. 

Laguna Beach team

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Back row standing: (L-R) Chiara Amaroso, Avery Montiel, Livvie Ouellette, Coach Kelcie Ferreira, Charlotte Riches, Ava Knepper, Claire Turner, and Lauren Short

Front row kneeling: (L-R) Jordan Schneider, Cleo Washer, Lauren Schneider, and Myha Pinto

The Laguna girls went out hard and were up 4-0 by the end of the second quarter. 

However, the next two quarters saw SOCAL fight back, but the game ended with a nice 7-6 win for Laguna. 

“Our girls will likely play SOCAL a couple more times before they meet up at the Junior Olympics National Championships in late July,” said Club Director Chad Beeler. “The two teams are very evenly matched.”

The Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation will also be hosting their 2nd Annual Bowling Tournament on Friday, April 26 at Heisler Park. 

For more information, go to

Laguna Beach Track and Field events included CERT information booth for the first time

CERT members were on site March 16 at Guyer Field during the 50th Laguna Beach Trophy Invitational, hosted by the Laguna Beach High School Track and Field program. The all-day event drew participants from as many as 60 schools from throughout the Southland and from Las Vegas, according to Laguna Beach High School track coach Steve Lalim.

Laguna Beach booth

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Sandi Cain

(L-R) Sonny Myers, Pilar Hemry, Janice Hayden, and Susan Reese made a CERT presence with a booth at the Youth City Track Meet at LBHS

Another CERT booth was set up during the annual Youth City Track Meet March 29 at Laguna Beach High School.

These events provided an excellent opportunity to educate attending family, friends and visitors from other communities about CERT programs.

LCAD Alumna finds new purpose for her art with nonprofit organizations

LCAD Alumna Liz Espinoza-Nguyen began studying privately with Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) Fine Arts faculty members Brittany Ryan and Taylor Montague, who introduced her to LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate in Drawing and Painting certificate program. “They said, ‘Don’t start over with another undergraduate degree,’” she remembered. “’Get your skills up, develop a portfolio and then go for your MFA.’”

LCAD’s one-year, 30-unit post-bacc program supports students in their personal journey toward artistic excellence while preparing artists and their portfolios for professional goals and/or advancement to an MFA program in studio art. 

Liz founded the Rosa Thay Nguyen Children’s Foundation (RTNCF), a nonprofit organization with the mission to give underprivileged children access to medical care and intervention in the U.S. and other developing countries after graduating from LCAD. 

The Foundation is dedicated to generations of women like Liz’s mother who immigrated from war-torn Vietnam to the United States with her young family. It was inspired by Rosa’s courageous spirit and her open-door policy to friends and family in need. 

LCAD Alumna artist

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LCAD Alumna Liz Espinoza-Nguyen

No matter where her job took her – Chicago, San Francisco, and eventually Los Angeles – Liz Espinoza-Nguyen always carved out time and space to paint. As an officer with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, she managed many complex organized crimes, public corruption, human trafficking, and other white-collar crime investigations. But she never abandoned her passion for drawing and painting. 

“Everywhere I went, I took classes at community colleges or found private tutors,” Espinoza-Nguyen said. “But when I retired, and my daughters were grown up, I decided to make my art my life.”

Liz met with Betty Shelton, chair of LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate program, and, in 2017, began her coursework in representational fine art. The work was challenging, but she began to see a transition in her art. She also found a new community of friends. “The women were like me,” she said. “We had put our art on hold to balance our families and careers. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Liz decided to marry her art with her nonprofit’s mission. “The RTNCF is about love and compassion for humanity, especially children who desperately need our help for a chance to live a healthy life,” Espinoza-Nguyen said. “My paintings are a way to express the foundation’s spirit and to fundraise so we can get medical care to children in third world countries.”

Liz’s LCAD family – Betty Shelton, Any Dylan, Erin MacDonald, and Machiko Naganuna – are now members of Espinoza-Nguyen’s advisory board. They all have donated art to the RTNCF’s first silent auction and gala, The Journey of Courage, set to take place on June 15, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, 21500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach.

In December 2019, Espinoza-Nguyen will exhibit her work at John Wayne Airport, making her a very busy painter.

“If you have earned a bachelor’s degree with some studies in studio art and are considering pursuing your dream of becoming a skilled artist, you are a prime Post-Baccalaureate candidate” Espinoza-Nguyen said. 

“I have found a new purpose for my art.”

For more information about the RTNCF, visit   

Founded in 1961, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is one of the top art and design schools in the nation. LCAD offers undergraduate degrees (BFA) in Animation, Drawing + Painting, Extended Reality Design (XRD), Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, Illustration and Illustration in Entertainment Design, as well as Master of Fine Arts degrees (MFA) in Art of Game Design, Drawing, and Painting. 

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events, and Annual Fund, visit

LBHS student seeks clothing donations to support Kausakusun women’s shelter in Cusco, Peru

Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) sophomore Katelyn Kolberg was touched by volunteering at the Kausakusun women’s shelter in Cusco, Peru last summer and has organized a fundraiser to support the women and children at the shelter.

The shelter helps women who have suffered domestic violence, offering them a refuge to escape the violence and a safe place to re-group and plan for a better life. Most of the women who seek shelter and form part of the program have children. 

Volunteers spend their time caring for the women and children, offering them companionship, skill learning, education, and attention. The women have made the first step by leaving the abusive situation, however, they now need support to make a better life for themselves. 

LBHS student Katelyn

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Katelyn Kolberg with children at Kausakusun women’s shelter

Katelyn is seeking gently used clothing that will be sold at a pop-up event in May to raise money to pay for a sewing teacher at the shelter. Any clothing that is not sold will be donated to Laura’s House, a women’s shelter in Orange County.

While volunteering at the shelter, Katelyn was able to get the director to agree to open an abandoned sewing room. Katelyn used her proficient Spanish and sewing skills to teach the women how to sew bags that could be sold for profit. The women at the shelter are fleeing abusive relationships and need the skills to become financially independent. 

“I was so touched by the Peruvian children and want to help their mothers continue to sew,” said Katelyn. “Through teaching them how to sew, they can support their families. Your used clothing donations will help change lives.”

Drop off your clothing at Sourced at 950 Glenneyre St. The deadline for drop off is April 25.

LBHS golf team plays Los Alamitos during first Wave League match, loses close one 205-209

On Wednesday, April 3, Laguna Beach High School’s (LBHS) boys golf team played Los Alamitos in their first Wave League match at Aliso Viejo Country Club, par 35. Both teams were equally matched. After the match, Coach Sean Quigley said, “For us to be competitive in the Wave League, we really need to defend our home course. Unfortunately, Los Alamitos won a close match 205-209. So, we really let one get away from us today.”

The team went into the match with their #2 and #3 players sitting out, so they needed everyone else to step up to get a win. Quigley reported, “The top of our lineup scored great with Chase Gioffredi posting a match low score of 34 (-1) and senior Kyle Shaw shooting a career best at AVCC with a 37 (+3). 

LBHS golf 2019 team

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LBHS 2019 Golf Team

After the first group finished, the team built up a solid 16 stroke lead, and Coach Quigley said, “It looked like we could pull it off. However, the players in the next two groups for Laguna shot well over their season averages, and when everyone had finished, Los Alamitos had a 4 stroke win.” 

Coach Quigley adds, “On a positive note, as a team we are continuing to improve and starting to consistently shoot competitive scores. Kyle Shaw really came through big for us with his 38; he’s always a hard worker in practice, and today it was great to see his game from tee to green as well as his short game both really clicking for him.” 

The top player scores for Laguna were: Chase Gioffredi – 34, Kyle Shaw – 38, Aiden Svenson – 42, Trent Ralston – 47, Cade St.Clair – 48, and Tai Diggins – 49.

In looking ahead to future matches, Coach Quigley says, “Chase has the ability to go toe to toe with all the top players in the league, and he’s starting to do that each match. If we can get all our players to put together a good round on the same day, we should get some league wins.”

Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo 14U A team makes a big splash at 15th Annual Laguna Beach Classic

This past Sunday, the Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo 14U A team won first place in the 15th Annual Laguna Beach Classic, beating their arch rival SOCAL 9-8. This coming weekend the team is playing in the California Cup State Finals in the Inland Empire.

Laguna Beach waterpolo team

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Back row standing: (L-R) Myha Pinto, Charlotte Riches, Coach Kelcie Ferreira, Livvie Ouellette, Ava Knepper, and Cleo Washer

Front row kneeling: (L-R) Jordan Schneider, Lauren Short, Lauren Schneider, and Avery Montiel

Laguna Beach Unified School District programs receive Festival of Arts Foundation grants

Laguna Beach Unified School District was awarded four grants totaling $18,000 from the Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation to enhance fine arts programs at Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School. 

The Laguna Beach High School art, drama, and ceramics programs each received $5,000. At Thurston Middle School, the drama program received $2,000 and the multimedia program received $1,000. 

The Laguna Beach FOA Foundation was incorporated in 1989 to preserve and promote the fine arts and all other artistic endeavors in and about Laguna Beach. The foundation operates independently from the Festival of Arts. To date, the Festival of Arts, along with the Foundation, has cumulatively awarded nearly $2.6 million in grants to the art community in Laguna Beach. 

Laguna Beach Joseph

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Johanna Ellis

LBHS drama program’s recent performance, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

“I am grateful to the Festival of Arts Foundation for their generous support of Thurston’s multimedia program and for providing my students with the unique opportunity to learn about astrophotography,” said Thurston Middle School Multimedia Teacher Andy Crisp. He continued, “With this grant, we will be able to purchase a high-quality telescope, filter, and camera mount and host Thurston’s first ever astronomy night! Astrophotography is a challenging, yet really fun field of photography, and I am super excited to bring this art form to my students.”

Teachers have used the grants to provide students with real-world experiences and opportunities, including after-school open level master classes for the dance program and exhibit opportunities for the arts and ceramics programs at local galleries.

“Thanks to continued support from the Festival of Arts Foundation, we’ve been able to provide our Laguna Beach High School drama students with unique and meaningful opportunities both on stage and in the classroom,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director Alexis Karol. “This year, we’re excited to partner with the FOA Foundation at Thurston Middle School as well, as we focus on aligning our middle school drama coursework with the high school’s CTE Pathway in drama. Through the generosity of organizations like the Festival of Arts, we can provide quality production values and innovative curriculum designed to prepare our students for college, career, and beyond,” she concluded. 

The FOA Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the visual and performing arts in the LBUSD and will be recognized at a future school board meeting. For more information about the Festival of Arts Foundation, including its grants and scholarships, visit

LBHS students perform at Carnegie Hall 

The Laguna Beach High School Wind Ensemble traveled to NYC and performed at Carnegie Hall last weekend. The group played two songs: Ride, composed by Samuel R. Hazo, and Shaker Dance, composed by John P. Zdechlik. Solos in Shaker Dance were performed by Oliver Reese Murray, Emily Thomas, and Zack Bonnin. 

LBHS students orchestra

Click on photo for a larger image

Orchestra at Carnegie Hall 

LBHS students outside

Click on photo for a larger image

Broadway in all its glory

LBHS students Oliver

Click on photo for a larger image

Oliver Reese Murray, who plays the clarinet, and his dad Charles 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc.


© 2019 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.