Music, food, and festivities!
On February 28th, the Spring Festival came around. Although it started off a little rocky as there were slight technical difficulties, Mr. T nonchalantly opened the gateway to the auditorium and swiftly introduced the Highland Scots Music program, soon to take everyone away with mesmerizing music. The auditorium was quite packed with nearly every seat available being taken.
The highland band has been working diligently for the past two months – since the beginning of the semester. While the preparations for this concert were difficult and time-consuming, the students love for music made this high-quality performance possible. To kick things off, the intermediate band started playing first, opening with the song Kinesis Perpetuum. The second and third songs (As Twilight Falls and Moscow, 1941) were even better received by the audience as the intermediate band got their groove going!
While the intermediate band did great, the show really kicked in when the advanced band came out to perform. You could tell that these students were very into what they were doing. It was almost as if the instruments themselves were an extension of their bodies. Victoria C. told us how exhausting but worthwhile it was to play both the flute and piccolo interchangeably during the third piece of that night.
Auction: You can be a Conductor, Too!
After this magnificent performance by the advanced band came a great opportunity for treasure; an auction. The host of the auction was Tabitha, the booster club president for the Highland band. Tabitha introduced herself while waving around an illusive conductor’s baton. This baton was revealed to be the prize to be ruthlessly bid on — whoever won the baton got to conduct an entire song at the upcoming Spring concert.
The person who won this honor would work with Mr. T and the advanced band, learning much about band in the process. Tabitha noted this was a great opportunity for a parent to embarrass their kid — certainly, it would make for an unforgettable memory! Not many students could say their parent took private conductor lessons with Mr. T to put a unique twist on a future concert!
The auction started off at $100 and quickly escalated to 200, then all the way up to 350! At $375 Tabitha had announced humorously that this was for “the kids” trying to invoke a sense of empathy from the crowd, which ended up working as the bid skyrocketed all the way up to 725! Sold for $725, this seemingly simple conductors batton holds a lot of power. The lucky person who won this magnificent treasure, and who will be Mr. T’s co-conductor in the Spring concert, is Laurie Frey, a local high school Psychologist!
After the auction was over, Mr. T “smoothly” transitioned into talking about the future endeavors of the Highland High School band. He noted that the intermediate and advanced bands will be performing at Stockdale high school, and the string band would be performing at East on Friday, March 17th. This performance is open to the public and free of charge!
While students prepared the stage for the special guest performance, Mr. T also took the time to give some thank you’s. In addition to the boosters, he extended his gratitude to the principal and administration for their support. He opened up about how being a first-time teacher made for an “interesting time” sorting things out and putting out performances. Then, he thanked parents, guardians, and friends for all being there tonight. And Mr. T could not end the night without thanking the students who performed, noting that it is hard to balance music with sports and multiple activities – indeed, he said, their workload is not light!
A final thanks was given to the Highland Colorguard who works closely with band. Our Colorguard has come far this year, gaining flying colors in recognition through their several weekend performances. Most recently, at Golden Valley, our Guard team took home 2nd place. Congratulations to this incredibly hardworking and talented team!
Strumming through like Gold: The Strings
Before the anticipated guest appearance, the Highland string ensemble takes the stage (and breath of several audience members) away. All throughout, whenever a song finished screams and applauds filled the room with sound.
Particularly noteworthy was first chair Veronica S. who received rave cries from the audience! This performance especially tugged at our heart”strings”!
Guest Performance: CSUB
Now we move on to the CSUB special performance. The conductor of this group was the one and only Leo Sakomoto. He expressed his gratitude and how it meant a lot to take the stage with highland that night. He had stated that in the 11 years he was a conductor at CSUB, this was the first time they held an exchange concert that was not at CSUB – so this is a first-time occurrence for both Mr. T and Sakomoto. The final song that ended this night’s performance, had 6 whole movements (whatever that means). Sakomoto described the music as very nice and lively in its first half with a very melancholic and solemn feeling towards the end. As he began conducting the piece, his movements became fluid and seamless — he was delicate and whimsical yet deep in his movements. This performance earns itself a standing ovation from the very enlightened crowd.
Dr. Sakomoto gives final regard to the Highland students by imploring them to keep using their gift wherever they end up going and to keep playing!
Wise words indeed, Dr. Sakamoto!
And, just before we thought the night was entirely over, Dr. Sakomoto surprises the audience with one final piece – his only remark being that he hopes it could make the audience dance a little bit! Getting into the groove of things, it surely did! The very uplifting tones of the music created a very festive atmosphere all throughout the WAH. What a perfect way to conclude the night!
With that said, the concert was a huge success, with many people turning up, and many laughs to be had. We sincerely look forward to the future endeavors of the HHS band this Spring — if you haven’t been able to catch a concert yet, be sure to do so! The sound will amaze you, and you won’t want to miss the talents that ooze from all of these passionate students!