Band and Orchestra place Superior in SCSBOA festival

Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Orchestra and Intermediate Orchestra performed for the annual Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) festival Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30 in the Performing Arts Center and the band room.

The ensembles had been rehearsing their festival music since January and focused on improving showmanship, strengthening dynamics, refining articulation and adjusting seating arrangements to maximize tone quality. Performance pieces ranged from the Romantic period to the Contemporary period.

“We emphasized the necessity for all the instruments to be listening to one another to create a harmonious sound and for the song to give off the vibe it was meant to,” Symphonic Orchestra viola player sophomore Christy Lin said. “We really improved on our connection within the brass and string section and we were able to truly work together to create a much more united piece of music.”

All 28 ensembles from the local participating schools underwent two rounds of evaluation: an onstage performance of rehearsed pieces in the Performing Arts Center and a sight-reading performance in the band room. Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Orchestra and Intermediate Orchestra all received unanimous Superior ratings, the highest rating, from the three judges for their onstage performance as well as for their sight-reading evaluation.

“I felt pressured because it’s the only performance that we are judged for, and it’s really important to have a good reputation,” Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Orchestra clarinetist junior Sebastian Hernandez said. “I think we deserved [unanimous Superior] because Wicks and his ensembles have put so much effort into changing our music in a positive direction.”

Walnut High School has hosted the SCSBOA festival for three consecutive years now and plans to host more in the future under its new title as a School of the Arts. However, this is the first year that all Walnut ensembles received unanimous Superior ratings for all evaluations.

“I am quite prideful that our school has had the opportunity to host such a special event so many other schools can participate in. It is convenient because we don’t have to drive out to faraway places and miss a bunch of classes,” Symphonic Orchestra violinist junior Derek Wang said. “I hope that we can host more festivals in the future to show what our school has to offer as a School of the Arts.”

Written by Erica Chang, Staff writer

Photo by Kevin Arifin