The high-school band practices for the upcoming concert on Wednesday, April 27.

Middle- and high-school band groups play in concert, Wednesday, April 27

The high-school band practices for the upcoming concert on Wednesday, April 27.
Kevin Huang
The high-school band practices for the upcoming concert on Wednesday, April 27.

Six groups will perform 10 songs at the spring band concert on Wednesday, April 27, at 7 p.m. in the MP Room.

One of these is the combined concert band, made up of the middle- and high-school bands.

“Usually I don’t combine the bands,” band director Bob Ratcliff said. “But this year both groups are small enough that they fit well together.”

However, the combined band faces more obstacles than any of the other groups, according to Ratcliff.

The two groups will practice together only twice before their performance on Wednesday, as the only time that works for both is during the high school’s Elective II.

“When we have practice during elective, the middle schoolers have to miss class,” Ratcliff said. “But their teachers have been really nice about (students missing class).”

The combined band will also have the task of playing the most difficult song, “First We Dream” by Erik Morales, Ratcliff said.

“There a lot of different things going on,” Ratcliff said. “There’s a big percussion feature, and it will be a very challenging piece for the middle schoolers.”

Senior Sydney Michel, sophomore Annya Dahmani, freshman Heidi Johnson, sophomore Katia Dahmani and senior Anthony Swaminathan, who make up the woodwind quintet,  will be playing “Berceuse” by George Bizet and “Ching-A-Ring Chaw” by Aaron Copeland.

The Cruise Boat Combo will be playing “This Masquerade” by Leon Russel. This group features Annya, Katia, Johnson, freshman Alex Rogawski, junior Fred Xu, senior Colby Conner, and  seventh grader Allie Bogetich.

The middle school jazz band will perform “Blue Bossa” by Kenny Dorham.

All the music the small groups will be playing has been performed previously at festivals, according to Ratcliff.

The middle-school band will be playing “Tricky Sticks” by Gregory Yasinitsky and “The Whole Enchilada” by George Shutack.

And the high-school band will play “Squares Be Gone” by Les Sabina and “Tiger of San Pedro” by John LaBarbera, arranged by Paul Lavender. Eighth grader Donghwan Park will have a French horn solo in this piece.

These two songs will also be performed at the Forum Music Festival in Fremont, Calif., on Saturday, May 21.

“The concert will help us a lot to prepare for the festival,” sophomore trumpet player Andrew Rossell said. “Playing in front of an audience will give us more stress, and that will help us identify what we really need to focus on.”

Ratcliff would also like to see a larger audience than at previous concerts.

“It would be really nice to have some people come and watch that aren’t related to the performers,” Ratcliff said.

—By Adam Dean

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