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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Band gears up for Spring

A trumpet?s note fades away as the band merges with the sound. The conductor prepares his score while the musicians tune their instruments before the performance.

The combined junior high and high school concert band will perform at the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Band Festival at Crossroads Christian School in Morgan Hill, CA, March 15.

?The whole point of these festivals is to perform for judges,? James Loomis, band director, said. ?It is a means for our group to be assessed according to our musical progress by seasoned veterans of the music profession.?

The band showed its ability to compete at the California Music Educators Association (CMCA) Large Ensemble Festival in Kingsburg, CA, Feb. 28.

?The Large Ensemble Festival represents a significant achievement on the part of the junior high members,? Loomis said. ?They have risen to the challenge of competing against area high schools at their level.?

The band scored an 86, earning an Excellent rating at the high school level.

?Nearly earning a Superior rating at such a high level is surely worth praise,? Loomis said. ?But we have been working on improving that performance by toning in on aspects that can be improved.?

The group will perform for three judges at the ACSI Band Festival who grade performances on tone quality, dynamics, articulation, intonation, rhythm and musicality.

“Each judge gives an independent rating,” Loomis said, “which is averaged together with the other scores for a final rating out of 100 points.”

Paul Ocheltree, trumpeter, recognizes the band?s improvement and the talent of the high school musicians.

?When it?s just the junior high playing we sound weaker,? Ocheltree, ?12, said, ?but when we play with the high school we sound strong and perform harder music.?

However, some high school band members appreciate the junior high band’s work to reach the high school level.

?They struggle to reach our level,? sophomore Daniel Hopper, percussionist, said, ?but we sound better now because they have risen to the challenge of participating in a higher level band.?

Despite a difference in talent and age, Loomis respects the joint band?s camaraderie.

?We have a good sense of community,? Loomis said. ?The musicians realize how important every part is, but the split nature of junior high and high school makes things difficult.?

Regardless of the complications associated with a combined band, they look forward to the ACSI Band Festival and aim to improve from their last competition.

?I hope we do better than our last competition,? sophomore Alexandrah Aleman, drum major, said. ?I think this will be a good building block for our next festival.?

The band will next perform during the CMEA Large Ensemble Festival at Bullard High School, 1 P.M., April 1. The band will take their annual Spring trip to Southern California and perform at the Biola University Wind Ensemble Festival, April 25, and on the Long Beach Pier at noon, April 27.

The two performances sandwich a trip to Disneyland on April 26, adding a classic Fantasyland experience to the trip.

For more information on band, visit Alyssa Quenzer’s Jan. 25, 2008, article, Honor bands tune concert melodies.

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