Music department preps for big events October 30, 2009 — by Kyumin Shim Permalink A busy schedule is ahead for all the members of the music department. The marching band, choir and orchestra are all refining their skills in preparation for upcoming events. Saratoga Marching Band The marching band had a competition at Clovis Oct. 24, competing head to head against marching band rivals. And it won first in all categories and received sweepstakes overall, a remarkable placing at the competitive event. “It’s the largest competition of the year and it was great,” said music director Michael Boitz. To make sure that the band would perform its best on the date, Jeff Fackle, the creator of the band’s drill sets, flew in from Ohio to work with the students for three hours on Oct. 22. “He watched us and commented on our show,” said junior Regina Lee. “and he reinforced what Mr. Otani tells us during practice.” As the marching band returns from its latest performance , they are also preparing for an upcoming competition at Diablo Valley College on Nov. 14. This will give the band another chance to perform in front of a large crowd and make improvements on its show. Saratoga Choir For Saratoga singers, the choir is making preparations for its first concert of the year on Wednesday, Nov. 4. It will be a joint concert with the Redwood Middle School’s Honor Chorus. “The very first concert is exciting and we’re really looking forward to it,” said Mr. Yowell. The Concert Choir, Men’s Choir, Chamber Singers, Cantare Chorale, and the Bell choir will all perform on this day. They will be singing Exaltate justi, There Shall A Star Come Out of Jacob, and Wade in the Water. On Nov. 9, the choir is also hosting a women’s exchange concert with eight other high schools. There will be at least 300 people participating in the concert. The Peninsula Women’s concert choir from Palo Alto will perform at the end of the exchange concert and perform two pieces with Saratoga choir members. “It’s going to be a great experience for all our singers because it’ll give them inspiration and something to look forward to,” choir director Jim Yowell said. Saratoga Orchestra The school orchestra performed a concert Oct. 31 along with Lynbrook High School. Both groups performed individually and then ended with a joint performance as the finale. The music department is looking forward to a great year with the first performances and concerts underway. “Everyone’s working so hard and it’s finally that time of year to show the great progress we’ve been making,” said Boitz.