Music department prepares for a good year

September 23, 2010 — by Vivien Lu and Kyumin Shim

Marching Band

The theme for this year’s field show is “Thought Crime,” and it will be under the leadership of senior drum majors Chris Chung, David Mandell and Jason Shiuan.

“The theme is very different because it’s pretty percussive,” music director Michael Boitz said. “The music is more angry and futuristic than lyrically stylistic, how it generally is.”

The marching band, consisting of 220 students, is also adjusting to a new director after the departure of previous director Duane Otani, who has moved on to conduct one of the most prestigious bands in the state at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego. Students are now under the supervision of director Seth Jones, who went through a rigorous process to be chosen to lead the marching band.

“There were three rounds of interviews, and one interview was a mock rehearsal,” said Boitz. “It was pretty intense and intimidating, but Mr. Jones stood out.”

During the mock rehearsals, Boitz watched the students’ reactions to each of the candidates for director.

“Mr. Jones makes band fun again,” said senior Amanda Jeng. “It used to be all work, but he combines work and play at the same time and it makes things interesting.”

With so much ahead of them, students are excited for the coming year.

“We’re moving in a good direction and I’m really stoked,” Shiuan said. “If we keep working hard, this year could be one of the best.”

Orchestra

The annual orchestra retreat was held at Saratoga Springs on Sept. 10 from 3-10 p.m. One hundred and twenty-five string players came together to play music and games, eat and socialize with one another.

“The purpose of the retreat is for the kids to get to know each other because it’s a really big group and they’re going to play together the whole year, ” said Boitz. “The philosophy here is that the better associated the kids are with each other, the better music they can make together. I want them to work hard, play hard and have a good time doing both.”

Many students agreed—namely, junior Ivan Lee, who plays the violin.

“The retreat is a good time to meet all the people in orchestra because we’re split between two periods so we barely even see the people in the other period other than weekly rehearsals. So it’s a good way to have fun while getting to know the incoming Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
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eshmen and others that we’re working with.”

Saratoga Springs offered a great area for providing opportunities for new friendships to be formed by allowing kids to play ice breaker games and swim in the pool.

Choir

The choirs are in for a busy year with upcoming concerts and auditions.

First, they had a choir retreat overnight at Walden West on Sept. 10.

“The retreat is usually just bonding,” said junior Sarika Srivastava. “So we played some games and ate; it was really fun.”

An upcoming performance on Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m in the McAfee Center will showcase a variety of choirs, ranging from Concert Choir to Chamber Singers.

While a substantial number of seniors graduated last year, music teacher Jim Yowell is excited at the prospect of new members.

“We’re starting all over with brand new people, and I’m excited to get started,” said Yowell.

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