It All Comes Down To This


All year long, the Baldwin Park High School Orchestra prepared for this one important event, Festival. This is an event that is held either at Sierra Vista High School or Baldwin Park High School; they switch every year. On March 7th and 8th, schools from all across the San Gabriel Valley attended this event in order to get rated by a panel of three musically educated judges. The schools performed their absolute best pieces to show their capabilities. The grades they were able to receive were Superior, being the highest rating, then Excellent, Good, Fair, and finally Poor.

Festival is not a competition but definitely creates a competitive atmosphere. As soon as a group walks into the gym, they are judged by the way they enter and set up. Once the judges give the O.K., the music begins. The three judges take detailed notes on every single aspect of the performance, such as dynamics, balance, and style. They also take voice recordings to further elaborate. After finishing one of their pieces, the group must wait for the judges to complete their notes. This wait for the judges can take about five minutes but can feel like five hours. The whole gym is completely silent, allowing no distractions. All you can hear is the voices of the judges talking into their recorders, curiously wondering what parts of the song the group is being critiqued on. After finishing their piece, each school goes to the band room to visit a clinic that gives the group advice on how to sound even better or on things the group needs to work on.

“The whole event is definitely intense, we prepared for this practically all year,” stated Haley Castelo, 1st chair violist in the B.P.H.S. Concert Orchestra.

The Baldwin Park High School Concert Orchestra attended this event and got the amazing score of Excellent. The three songs they performed were: Midnight Rain, Themes Of Moldau, and Fantasia On A Theme From Thailand. They were the first to take part in the festival, performing at 9:00 am. This massive orchestral group of 76 was conducted by Marcy Kamler, director of the Baldwin Park High School Concert Orchestra for three years.

”We tried our best this year and we will try even harder next year and get that Superior!” said Jasmine Advincula, 4th chair violinist also in the B.P.H.S. Concert Orchestra.

Now that Orchestra finished their stressful performance, they still have their Spring Concert. A few of the songs that the Orchestra performed for Festival will also be played then. The Orchestra also had their Chamber Orchestra will play songs such as,“Beauty and the Beast” before the Beauty and the Beast drama performance.

“We thank Drama for giving us the opportunity to play our hearts out with the P.A.C.’s amazing acoustics!” expressed Nancy Reyes, violinist in the Chamber Orchestra.


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