For what is believed to be the first time in Escalon High School history, twin sisters took the top honors in terms of musical achievement for the Class of 2017.
Recently graduated seniors Cassidy and Caitlin Pehl were recognized with the John Philip Sousa Award and the Louis Armstrong Award.
“The John Philip Sousa Award recognizes a band student with superior musicianship, dependability, loyalty, and cooperation,” said EHS Director of Instrumental Music Ashley Crow. “The Louis Armstrong Award recognizes a jazz musician for their outstanding musical achievement and incredible dedication to the program. This year the John Philip Sousa Award went to Cassidy Pehl and the Louis Armstrong award went to Caitlin Pehl.”
“We compete a lot,” admitted Cassidy, who plays the bass clarinet, clarinet, alto saxophone and cello, involved in music throughout all four years of high school. “I thought it would be cool (to both win) and our grandfather’s last name is Sousa.”
That made it a little extra special for Cassidy to pick up that award, but she was just as happy for sister Caitlin and her achievements.
Caitlin plays tenor, alto and baritone saxophone, upright bass, clarinet and oboe.
“I was super excited,” Caitlin admitted. “All of high school I’ve wanted this award ... been in jazz band all four years. I was tearing up a little bit.”
While she was just ‘tearing up,’ Caitlin said her mom Veronica was overwhelmed with emotion, seeing the twins both recognized for their musical achievements.
“My favorite part is the concerts,” added Caitlin, noting that their older brother Christian also was involved in music in high school, as was their dad, Chris.
Now that they have completed their years at EHS, the sisters will be separating, heading to different colleges to get started on their career paths.
“The longest we’ve ever been away from each other is a week,” noted Cassidy.
She will be attending UC Davis to study animal science while Caitlin gets ready to attend Stanislaus State to pursue a career in nursing.
“I thought this was really awesome since they are not only sisters, but they are twins,” Crow added of the unique, well-deserved honors.
The Pehl sisters leave Escalon with a musical legacy, setting the standard for those that follow.