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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Music groups kick off season with competitions, concerts and preview performances

The music program has been bustling with activity this second semester. The winter percussion and winter guard groups attended their first competitions, while band and orchestra kicked off their spring semester concert and festival series. 

Band persists through second semester with more concerts

Members of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) finished their performance at the California All State Music Conference (CASMEC) at the end of January and transitioned into the concert band format completely following the ending of the marching band season in November.

Alongside the orchestra, they also performed at the California Music Educators Association Band and Orchestra Festival held at the school from March 14-16. The festival includes numerous middle and high school orchestras and bands who perform in front of a panel of judges, most of whom are distinguished music educators from across California. 

Courtesy of Isabelle Gecils 

(Left to right) Baritone players juniors Jeremy Zou, Julius Zhou and sophomore Spencer Thomson perform the piece “George Washington Bicentennial” by John Philip Sousa during the Band Spring Concert on Feb. 29. 

“The Bicentennial is very patriotic and celebratory,” Zhou said. “It was a nice change in style from the rest of our repertoire at the concert.”

Winter Percussion prepares for national competition

The winter percussion is split into two ensembles, World Class and A Class. World Class is treated as the varsity group and is traveling to Southern California from March 22-24 for the “SoCal Power Regional,” and to Dayton, Ohio, in mid-April for the Winter Guard International Winter Percussion Championships. 

Courtesy of Isabelle Gecils

Bass drum players junior Ruhan Periyacheri and sophomore Aiden Jang during the Winter Percussion premiere show at James Logan High School on Feb. 4. 

“The rehearsal load has very much increased due to us being in a higher competition division and flying to finals this year,” junior snare drum Logan Gecils said. “It has been more stressful as we have had more to learn but overall it is still a very fun activity.”

Winterguard competes with both a junior varsity and varsity group

The winterguard had a competition on March 16 at Live Oak High School, culminating in the California Color Guard Circuit Championships at Dayton High School on April 6.

Courtesy of Lake Javeri

Members of the varsity Winterguard ensemble warm up outside Fremont High School on March 2 for their performance of this year’s show, “Jazz in the Plazz.” 

Junior Andrea Zhu especially enjoyed this season, saying, “During water breaks and post practice we would sit, talking to each other and joking around; when we’re folding up the picnic blankets we played monkey in the middle once and it’s a nice way to end rehearsal and reconnect.”

They ranked 2nd out of 5 senior teams at the competition. “Jazz in the Plazz” tells the story of a group of pedestrians who are walking in a park when they become entranced by jazz music playing nearby. It features jazz-style dancing, music and is set to the song “Another Day of Sun.”

First concerto performance with orchestra junior David Kim

Following the results of the annual Concerto Competition hosted by the music program each December, seniors Chloe Lee and Tejas Tirthapura and junior David Kim were selected to perform this spring. Lee and Tirthapura will be performing their concertos at the end-of-year concert in May, but Kim performed at the group’s spring concert. 

“I’m so excited to play David’s concerto because I’ve been friends with David for so long and it was so amazing to hear him play so well and such cool music in front of everyone for the whole orchestra,” Tirthapura said. “I remember in August during rehearsal we always had our inside jokes; It’s really the people in the orchestra and the program that makes the orchestra so enjoyable.”

Senior saxophone player Vidhur Sanghi was also one of the winners of the Concerto Competition hosted in December and will be performing his concerto at the band’s end-of-year concert. 

All the orchestra groups also performed at the CMEA Band and Orchestra Festival from March 14-16. 

Courtesy of Lucas Choi

Junior David Kim performs Cecil Forsyth’s Viola Concerto in G Minor during the Orchestra Spring Concert on March 7.

“Playing the concerto forced me to adopt a more strict practice schedule as I was preparing for the concert, and it was stressful to manage my time balancing practice with school work,” Kim said. “I gained a better understanding of how to work well with an ensemble.”

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