Music department hosts CMEA and Minnesota students, prepares for mini tour

April 4, 2008 — by Elizabeth Cheng and Aadrita Mukerji

This story was originally published in the April 4 edition of The Saratoga Falcon

Music students often meet and work with students from California, but on March 14 they were bonding with students from across the nation. From Ultimate Frisbee on the lower field to a dance-off in DONthe quad, Saratoga students got to know the 50 Anoka, Minn., students who had traveled across the country to hold a joint concert with them.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble held a concert at the McAfee Center with the Anoka High band. Both bands played four individual pieces and then combined at the end to play two songs together.

After the concert, the Anoka students spent the night in Saratoga homes before continuing on their tour. Students volunteered to host up to four members of the Anoka band for the night. Saratoga band director, Michael Boitz, felt particularly close to the group from Anoka because he had attended the same high school.

“The people were really nice,” said junior Kiyoshi Harada, who hosted two Anoka students. “The funniest thing was how they were all in shorts and T-shirts when it was 50 degrees and windy.”

The two days earlier, the Lynbrook High concert band came to the McAfee Center to play with the Saratoga symphonic bands.

The bands had little time to rest after the two joint concerts, as they had to get ready for the California Music Educator’s Association Festival that took place on March 28 and 29 at Saratoga High. The festival was an opportunity for school bands and orchestras to perform for adjudicators who in turn give the group ratings ranging from superior to poor.

“It’s good because [the students] get feedback from adjudicators who are often well-known professionals in our field and they get an opportunity to perform,” said band director John Zarco.

Saratoga students were enlisted to help guide schools and oversee the events.
For the most part, April is a slow month for the music department. The bands and orchestra are preparing to travel down to San Diego for their mini tour at the end of this month. They will share a concert with Rancho Bernardo High , which has one of the best music programs in the state. The band and orchestra will also attend a performance by the San Diego Orchestra.
“I’m really excited for the trip,” said freshman Pamela Lee. “Since marching band, everyone’s drifted, but now we can all come back together and have fun.”