Ensembles to perform at Festival

by Eddie Lu

Both Symphonic Band and Orchestra will perform March 21 in their annual festival at Montebello High School.

Orchestra members will perform at 8:30 a.m. and will be playing “March of the Meistersingers” by Richard Wagner, “Brandenburg” by Johann Sebastian Bach and “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss, Sr.

All performing groups will receive one of the five ratings; poor, fair, good, excellent or superior. This year’s assigned judges are Bill Schroeder, Michael Stone, Gary Yearick and Curt Richardson.

“I am very excited to be taking orchestra to District Festival this year. It would be fantastic to earn our first ‘superior,’ but that is difficult to do with one rehearsal per week. Most orchestras and other schools rehearse every day. As a result, we have to practice individually at home in the months before we go to festival,” said Anne Rardin, orchestra director.

Although group rehearsals are limited to one per week, students are expected to practice daily to improve their weaknesses.

“To improve on our biggest weaknesses, we can take notes and practice more as we are approaching the competition date,” said Leilani Corleto, junior. “I believe we will do the best in ‘Radezky March’ out of the other songs because we already had a lot of experience in playing it. I hope this year that orchestra will get ‘superior,’ especially if we put in a group effort to stick together throughout the performance.”

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Photo by Giselle Manzano

Band will perform at 5:45 p.m. and will play “Nimrod” by Edward Elgar, arranged by Alfred Reed, and “English Folk Song Suite” by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Band has earned “superior” for the past four years, and they normally get a unanimous “superior.”

“It is an opportunity for us to get rated by a professional judging association to give us insight on how we are doing,” said Antonio Castro, band director. “Of course it’s hard work, but I tell them if you get all the notes and rhythms right, you get a ‘good,’ if you do that and add on articulation and dynamics, you move on to the ‘excellent’ and if you add the extra quality of nuance and musicianship, you move on to the ‘superior’ range.”

Though this performance can be viewed as a method to rank one’s school against others, it may also be seen as an opportunity to play a variety of music.

“I believe this is a great opportunity for band and orchestra to learn from their mistakes from their director and the judges, and it also allows us students to play songs from different regions of the world, from different times,” said Alexander Dietze, junior.

This is an opportunity for orchestra to improve on last year’s score and for band to maintain their “superior” streak.

“Getting the score ‘excellent’ last year in orchestra has encouraged me to work harder to get a ‘superior’ this year. I see it as something that motivates me rather than something that discourages me, and I have worked hard during my free time towards bettering my accuracy when it comes to hitting right notes,” said Jenkins Phu, sophomore.

The festival begins at 8 a.m. and admission is free.

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