Student in Focus: Hanbo Xu, Clarinetist


Stratton Rebish

Hanbo Xu (‘24) was selected to the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association’s annual concert in April. The performance features the most talented young musicians from high schools across Southern California. Recognized for his expertise in playing the B-flat clarinet, Hanbo received an invite to perform with the association’s Honor Wind Ensemble.

On April 9th, young orchestra and band members from schools across Southern California will gather at Santa Monica High School for one of the most talent-packed concerts of the year, run by the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA). Webb’s very own Hanbo Xu (‘25) was selected to join this group of musicians as a part of their Honor Wind Ensemble to perform in the concert.

Hanbo not only plays the B-flat clarinet but excels in doing so. He picked up the woodwind three years ago, and his hard work has not gone unnoticed. Linda Silva, Webb’s Director of Instrumental Music, awarded him the utmost praise.

“That is a big deal for him to do so well at a young age,” Ms. Silva said. “Often those positions go to seniors.”

Hanbo’s selection is a big deal for Webb’s orchestra and band groups. Webb students have been invited to perform in this concert in the past, but these numbers have faltered in recent years as the program grows more competitive. It has become rare to see a Webb student at one of these concerts, making each selection even more of an achievement.

The SCSBOA invited Hanbo to participate in the orchestra’s Honor Wind Ensemble out of thousands of B-flat clarinetists from schools in eleven Southern California counties. He was chosen out of an incredibly large talent pool — and as a freshman, mind you!

Hanbo has had experience with the SCSBOA’s concerts in previous years. Prior to his selection this year, he had participated in the association’s middle school orchestras for two years. Even with his past involvement with the group, the step up to high school orchestra and band is intimidating. He was now competing with high schoolers for a spot in the ensemble, but Hanbo was not fazed in the slightest.

“Back in the middle school section, I was the principal clarinet for the Honor Band, so [the selection] was pretty expected,” Hanbo said. “There’s definitely a lot of better clarinetists in the high school section than the middle school one.”

Talent and dedication like Hanbo’s do not usually come without a driving force, but even with Hanbo’s three consecutive selections to the SCSBOA’s annual concert, he has specified that he has no plan for a future as a clarinetist.

“It’s just a hobby,” Hanbo said.

Hanbo’s future with the B-flat clarinet may be up in the air, but his achievements thus far as a freshman cannot be overstated. The Webb community is excited to see what his talents will bring to Webb over the next three years.