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Spring concert highlights jazz, concert bands

All branches of the band department will display their second semester efforts in a community concert, April 12. Unlike many performances where the high school groups perform alone, the elementary and junior high will play as well.

The free concert will be held in Ground Zero at 7 p.m., in preparation for festivals at Biola University, and at the Heritage Festival in San Diego. They will play for judges later this month, competing against bands all over California.

Though the groups usually perform during the last few weeks of school, music department head Michael Ogdon says a crowded band season makes this schedule ideal.

“The band year is kind of weird,” Ogdon said. “The first semester has parades and football games and is really active. The second semester seems to slow to a crawl with concert season. We haven’t had anything on the calendar for a very long time.”

In past years the concerts have been split between the elementary students, who play on one night, and the high school and junior high, who play on another. However, Ogdon says it is important for the groups to be combined for the event.

“One really important thing for our band program is to entice younger players to plan for future involvement in the band as they grow older,” Ogdon said. “By putting all the groups in the same program, it feels more like a ‘family’ that may bring about connections for the future.”

Numerous changes to the department have occurred throughout the year, such as Ogdon’s leadership, as well as introducing a new percussion group led by assistant director Cameron Yassaman.

Freshman Ashlyn Key says she feels positive about the preparation for the performance.

“I think we’re going to do pretty good because we’ve played the songs over and over enough to do well,” Key said. “I think the song ‘Irish Trilogy’ will interest people the most and the song ‘Dark Lords and Ancient Kings’ will show people how full we really sound.”

In addition to the concert band, the jazz band will perform at the concert. Trumpet player Joshua Smith, ’11, says the piece “Carnaval” will impress the crowd the most.

“I think ‘Carnaval’ is the best song because I like the upbeat music,” Smith said. “I think they’ll like it because it’s very entertaining. Overall I think [the concert] is going to be very successful, and we’ve been working hard all year – this is the climax.”

The free concert will be held in Ground Zero at 7 p.m. For more information, read the March 25 article, Music groups to perform at local festivals or the Feb. 2 article, Mid-Valley Festival recognizes jazz band or check out Festival preparation or e-mail Ogdon.

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