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Darren Gao

Associate Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner

An active percussionist in the Bay Area, 15-year-old Darren Gao is a sophomore at Lynbrook High School and a first-year member of the CYS program. Prior to joining CYS, Darren studied percussion under Ja Hsieh and the Cha Cha Percussion group located in Santa Clara starting from the age of five, remaining a part of this group for nine years. He now works under Galen Lemmon, and is looking to broaden his concert percussion experience alongside one of the highest-achieving percussionists of the Bay Area. Instructors aside, Darren has had the pleasure of working with several groups around the area, including the California All State Junior High School Concert Band in his 8th grade year, as well as being a part of the Santa Clara County Honors Band in both 2023 and 2024. Besides concert percussion, Darren plays Bass 2 in Lynbrook’s marching band, and is looking forward to switching to the Tenor Drums in next year's season. Outside of his musical life, Darren is fascinated with psychology and has been studying Japanese since 7th grade, being a part of his school's Japan Bowl team. He has competed in the 31st National Japan Bowl as a level 2 student of Lynbrook High School alongside two other students, earning the nation’s second place trophy. He eagerly awaits competing with Lynbrook’s level 3 team this year.

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