SHS band and orchestra continue to do well in the off-season

April 29, 2009 — by Anna Shen

After several California Music Educators Association (CMEA) evaluations, the Saratoga band and orchestra continue to receive outstanding feedback and maintain a position as having one of the best music departments in the Bay Area.

The most recent CMEA evaluation was hosted by Saratoga High School (SHS) in the McAfee Center from March 27-29. Several high schools and middle schools participated in the event, including Redwood Middle School.

“We were really proud at how [the students] ran the festival, their performance onstage, but more importantly how they ran the festival offstage,” said music director Michael Boitz. “[They were] very good leaders [and] very helpful to everybody at the festival.”

The Saratoga band and orchestra received four unanimous superiors for the performances of their advanced orchestra, intermediate orchestra, symphonic band I, symphonic orchestra and symphonic wind ensemble. Symphonic band II received two excellences and two superiors. Out of all the participating local schools, Saratoga High scored the highest.

“I’m very proud of our orchestra and band, because we have to work very hard to get unanimous superiors ratings for almost all our groups,” said sophomore Walter Hsiang, a cellist in the symphonic orchestra.

Performances by the musicians were judged based on three judging criteria—musicality (style, expression, dynamics), quality of sound and technique. Judges were Kenneth Ayoob, Romano Marchetti, Tim Smith and Gary Williams. Smith commented that the performances were stunning “as always.”

Despite the music department’s continued success, Boitz thinks the most important thing is not the achievement, but rather the path to get there.

“To me, the most important part is during rehearsal or in the classroom with each other,” said Boitz. “The performance is very exciting, but all of the moments we have together in the rehearsal room is the most rewarding part. The rating is sort of an icing on the cake.”

1 view this week