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Music Department concludes year with Heritage Festival (66 PHOTOS)

Every year, the music department participates in the Heritage Festival during the spring season.

Students usually have similar experiences on each trip. They generally spend a couple of days shopping, then perform at a high school or church auditorium. On the last day, students go to an amusement park, spending a few hours relieving built-up stress.

However, there were many changes to the otherwise repetitive schedule this year under the direction of Michael Ogdon.

“We went to the Los Angeles area for several reasons, one of which is because we qualified to go to the gold festival, which doesn’t happen often, and was held in Anaheim this year,” Ogdon said. “Also, we had previously gone to the bay area. Lastly, we could also visit the campus of a Christian university.”

Day 1: Journeying to SoCal, Master’s College

Students began the first day of their trip at 6:30 a.m. in the school parking lot. After boarding a charter bus and travelling for hours, they eventually arrived at Master’s College in order get a feel for a musically-based, Christian college. Students were given a tour of the campus, followed by a presentation about student financial aid and the application process.

Though Raine Hayes, ’12, has no interest in attending Master’s College, she felt the presentation gave juniors useful information.

“It is not the ideal college for me, but at the same time we got a lot of information about it,” Hayes said. “For those who would want to go there, it was a good tour, we went through all the different aspects of the school. The presentation was helpful because it had specific dates about college deadlines.”

By the end of the day, not many students were looking forward to the student activity, bowling, scheduled for 7:30-10 p.m. Jacob Balderas, ’11, used the venture as an advantage to play the arcade games located in the bowling alley.

“I didn’t bowl,” Balderas said. “I spent my time with seniors talking and playing arcade games.”

Day 2: Performing for the Los Angeles Mission, Heritage Festival

The second day began with a visit to the Los Angeles Mission. There, students were given a tour of the entire site and performed at the shelter’s daily chapel. Chloe Duerr, ’14, found the mission to be depressing but inspiring.

“It was amazing,” Duerr said. “The best thing is that it [the mission] is all run only through private fundings. Everyone there seemed like good people. I learned that even during the hardest times, people are still happy, and the shelter still remains open.”

As Hayes walked off the bus, the mission house was different from what she had expected. She had anticipated that the mission home would be in a more run-down condition than it was.

“I thought it [the mission] was going to be dirty and depressing, but when I saw how clean and nice the facility was, I wasn’t sad anymore,” Hayes said. “The program there made me want to help out more with the Fresno Mission.”

After the mission, students continued onward towards their actual Heritage destination: Fullerton College. From 3-10 p.m., students stayed on campus and performed.

First, the concert band performed two percussion pieces: “Liddle Drumber Boi” composed by assistant director Gary Smith, and Warren Johnson’s “Kinesthesia.” The entire band joined in for the final song “Clash” by Ryan Main.

The Jazz Band performed “Six by Six” by Doug Beach, in which Dana King, ’12, played an alto saxophone solo, and “Free Ride” composed by Sweeney Hartman, during which juniors Josh Hopper and Sean Carter performed a duel-like duet. They also played Quincy Jones’ “Grace,” where Balderas lead the solo.

Concert Choir performed “Witness” by Dick Bolks, “Adoramus Te” composed by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and “Amazing Grace” by Brett Strader. Ensemble finished the festival with Irving Berlin’s composition “Blue Skies,” Jon Hendrick’s “Everybody’s Boppin” and “Gather By the River to Pray” by Pepper Choplin.

“I had a great sense that our groups were ready to deliver at a very high level,” Ogdon said. “Each group really peaked for the festival.”

Day 3: Spending time at Disneyland

For their third and final day at Heritage, students headed off to Disneyland. After spending all day there, the awards ceremony began in California Adventures at 9 p.m. Though the day stretched from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Zachary Camden, ’11, felt that, through the trip, he was able to become closer to others.

“It was really fun,” Camden said. “I hadn’t expected it to be because I didn’t know a lot of people on the trip, and spending a whole day there [at Disneyland] allowed me to get close to people I usually don’t hang out with.”

Usually, the solemn atmosphere of the award ceremony is accompanied by a quaint, peaceful process. However, this year, Disneyland went all out. When the ceremony began, professional singers and dancers performed, and Mickey, Minnie and the Genie joined the stage soon after. Hayes felt as if the incorporation of Disney characters into the ceremony made the atmosphere more lively.

“It was awesome because the Genie has always been my favorite character,” Hayes said. “I always go on these trips and this year especially, for seniors this made it a big hurrah!”

Overall, the music department walked away with silver awards in jazz band and concert choir and gold awards in percussion ensemble and choral ensemble. Ogdon was not surprised by the results and thought that, overall, the trip had been a good learning opportunity.

“The directors had the opportunity to look over the judging sheets before the awards were handed out, so I pretty much knew where our groups stood,” Ogdon said. “They [the judges] gave several suggestions that will help us grow musically.”

Ogdon thought the excursion was a success and says that the trip to the mission was the highlight of the event.

“Well, since I put it together, I really liked it,” Ogdon. “I heard from several students, seasoned travelers, who felt especially good about the things we did together. The top vote-getter was our time at the mission. For next year, I have a couple of ideas, which I will hopefully know by October. One is for students to see a Christian university and another is to connect the whole event to a service project, if possible.”

For more information about the music department’s events, read the March 10 article,
Music department plans spring performances.

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    Sharon ScharfSep 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

    We had a great many ideas on how to represent ourselves with our entries.