Music Brings Braves Together


Student leaders of our band and orchestra have been meeting to plan a concert in which advanced players from both ensembles will be performing together. Discussion of this project began in January and the group expects to perform at a concert before the end of the school year.IMG_2629_150

Plans for this event began when Andres Martinez and Michelle Vu, President and Vice President of the orchestra, respectively, approached the band’s drum majors with the idea. Drum majors Janice Marquez, Ivan Ortega, Edward Ponce, and Carlos Talavera were quick to express their interest in the project and began constant communication with the orchestra’s leaders. Meetings with Marcy Kamler, the orchestra teacher, and Peter Huerta, the band teacher, gave their plans the support and authority needed to move forward.

The possibility of a band and orchestra merger is no new idea as talk of it has been heard throughout past years. “Every year it seems like people have wanted to do this, to combine both programs…but now that we have new directors in, there’s more leeway for us students,” explained Edward Ponce, “so we can actually get this going.” These new directors, Huerta and Kamler, have been extremely supportive as they have offered their experience and advice to the aspiring musicians.IMG_2619_150

The group met for the first time after school on Friday, February 26th for introductions and discussion of the project. The group played through two pieces that afternoon, Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite Finale” and an arrangement of John Williams’ famous “Star Wars Theme,” in order to gauge the group’s ability.

The practice concluded with a discussion of songs that could be played, perhaps an excerpt from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. Ivan Ortega also took note of which instruments were needed to cover all parts on the score and entrusted the group to encourage others to join. Future meetings are planned to take place after Music Festival and the group is expected to play at both the band and orchestra Spring concerts in May.

“This initiative is all driven by students,” says Ortega, “and we want to have this set in mind for the next generation of students so they can start their own program and we can keep this going on for future years.”

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