Band, orchestra, and choir concerts

Music based classes and extracurriculars prepare for end of the year performances


STAYING IN TUNE instructing Concert Band, Ian Marcusiu, Assistant Band Director, teaches Payton Wujek, freshman, how to play a segment for their upcoming concert on May 22 “It is very important for a performance based class like band to have performance opportunities,” he said.

The song was just not working. It was the February before Band had shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and Madison Bevil, junior, was rehearsing a Mozart concerto on her clarinet in preparation for their state competition. As her last normal competition prior to the nationwide standstill, Maddie still remembers the painstaking process of learning the piece. 

“It was for Winter Ensemble, and I was going to state and I was very frustrated,” Maddie Bevil, junior, said. “(When I finally got it) it was a weight off my shoulders. I didn’t feel that pressure anymore, especially when I went to state and I got that gold.”

Unlike last year, Maddie does not have a state competition to prepare for. With last year cut short and this year yielding no competition season, she has her focus on the upcoming Concert Band performance May 22 at Centennial Park. Members of Jazz Band and Winter Percussion are also in preparation for performances in the auditorium May 11.

“I am looking forward to it, just because we haven’t been able to do anything with the concert season,” Maddie said. “It’s like our last hurrah as a group, especially for the seniors. We don’t have after school rehearsals like the previous years. We would normally be going to qualifiers, state or regionals. We don’t have that this year, so this concert is the only thing we get.” 

Band is not the only music based extracurricular partaking in more end-of-the-year activities after experiencing a season of COVID-19 restrictions—yesterday, Orchestra held their first live performance of the year, and today Choir has released its first ever album, “Through the Valley.” The process of song recording was a foreign experience for some choir members, and much of the editing was done by Mr. Luke McGinnis, choir director.

“It can be really frustrating having to sing by yourself and recording again and again,” Jane Potter, junior, said. “It’s nothing like a live performance, but I’m still glad that I have that experience.”

In addition to their CD release, Choir members perform virtually today, and are also preparing to sing at graduation June 6.”

“I’m really excited,” Dori Clousing, senior, said. “Graduation is going to be our first in person performance this year, and I think a lot of us are really really looking forward to it.”

Despite the adverse circumstances of this year, Band, Choir and Orchestra members have learned to adapt to the ever-changing challenges of COVID-19 regulations, this being reflected in the influx of activities characterizing their May. For Gaby Ruiz, sophomore, persevering meant struggling to be heard through a screen as an eLearning Orchestra member. 

“I’m proud of myself for continuing to play every day in class and not giving up since nobody could hear me,” Gabriela Ruiz, sophomore, said. “I’ve gotten better as a violinist and can’t wait for next year.”