Orchestra and symphonic band delight audiences at winter concerts

January 19, 2010 — by Vivien Lu and Ashley Tang

Audience members came away feeling the holiday spirit after attending the winter concerts by the orchestra and symphonic band on Dec. 9-10. The Dec. 9 concert featured the orchestra and wind ensemble, and the Dec. 10 concert featured jazz band and concert band.

“I think the concert ran pretty smoothly and the audience really enjoyed the surprise skit,” sophomore violist Carolynn Choi said. “I feel that the last concert from the previous year had more energy than the one this year, but I still had a lot fun and really felt the holiday spirit.”

The holiday spirit spread to all the members of the orchestra. Before they performed the song “Sleigh Ride,” each musician donned a Santa Claus hat to lighten the mood. In the middle of the song, a skit based on the film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was performed with band director Duane Otani acting as the Grinch, music coordinator Takako Hasegawa as Mrs. Claus and assistant principal Joe Bosco as Santa Claus.

“It was relaxing and fun to watch the skit in the last song, ‘Sleigh Ride,'” said orchestra manager and sophomore violist Vivian Tsai. “I enjoyed it because it was light and festive.”

The concert showcased six pieces, including “Morning Star,” a piece that music director Michael Boitz wrote and dedicated to his students for the school’s 50th anniversary.

The next day, Otani and Boitz conducted another winter concert for the symphonic band and jazz band II.

“Having two concerts in a row wasn’t too bad. It was actually pretty nice cause I could take a day off and just play music without really worrying about school,” said senior alto saxophonist Victor Chan. “Afterwards, it was a bit of work, especially since I had a final the next day.”

The first concert included the orchestra and wind ensemble and was a more advanced group, while the second concert consisted of jazz band and concert band.

“I liked the first concert better,” Chan said. “The band was kind of rushed because we didn’t have enough time to prepare for everything.”

Both concerts ran smoothly and delighted the audience.

“I always enjoy listening to our students. When I work in the building, I only hear snippets of their rehearsals,” administrative assistant Janet Verson said. “To actually enjoy the whole piece was really wonderful.”

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