Music department ends year on high note

May 20, 2008 — by Kirstie Lee, Elizabeth Cheng and Annie Lee

Before spring break, the music department began the process of picking the 2008-2009 leadership team. Drum majors were decided the week after spring break, and the leadership team was announced last week. Seniors Julia Glausi and Paul Stavropoulos will join senior Mara Couch in leading the band at field show competitions as the new drum majors.

“Next year will be a groundbreaking year. Mara, Julia and I want to work with the group to reach new heights Saratoga has not seen before,” said Stavropoulos.

The 12 drum major applicants had to go through a rigorous selection process that spanned three weeks. First, they had to turn in a written application which was reviewed by Band directors Michael Boitz, John Zarco and the current drum majors seniors Lawrence Choi and Aaditya Sekar and junior Mara Couch. Then each of the applicants led two five-minute marching rehearsals to give the potential leadership team a chance to see the applicants’ leadership skills. Finally, they were interviewed individually by the directors and drum majors.

“Next year will be a groundbreaking year. Mara, Julia and I want to work with the group to reach new heights Saratoga has not seen before,” said Stavropoulos.

The rest of the marching band’s leadership team has also been announced, choosing eligible sophomores and juniors to lead sections for the upcoming year.

Choirs receive unanimous superiors

The chamber choir, concert choir, and women’s choral received unanimous superior ratings at the California Music Educators’ Association (CMEA) choir festival on May 9-10. Each group performed a selection of three songs for four adjudicators who gave a score from 1-100. Saratoga High was the only school to have every group receive a unanimous superior, which ranges from 90-100

“We were really fortunate to have all three groups get unanimous superior,” said choir director Jim Yowell. “We worked really hard to reach that goal, and you don’t always know if you can because different judges like different things.”

The three groups started rehearsing for this event in March, one month after the music program finished working on its musical, WSS.

“I think it went really well,” said senior soprano Katie Stevens. “A lot of the performances were our best for those songs.”

Saratoga’s choir department, though, has always set high standards; for the past four years, every CMEA choral group but one has received a unanimous superior.

“It’s pretty standard to get unanimous superior,” said Stevens. “[But] it’s definitely an amazing experience.”

Music department prepares for concerts

The choir began preparing for the year-end concerts, which will take place during the last week of May, after CMEA.

In addition to the choirs, the rest of the music department is also preparing to wrap the year up. The symphonic bands and jazz bands perform in the McAfee Center May 21, while the symphonic wind ensemble will have a joint performance with the orchestra on May 30. The three choirs will hold their concert on May 28. AP Music Theory students will hold their recital in the band room on May 29.

“It’s really impacted but really fun because we get to honor all the people that have worked so hard all year and listen to great music that is a combination of all the work,” said choir director Jim Yowell.

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