Westwood Horizon

Band Students Perform in Symphonic Camp

By Srilekha Cherukuvada, Reporter

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The Westwood Band held their third annual Symphonic Camp Clinic & Concert on Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9. Guest directors were hired to help each band improve upon UIL pieces, as well as perform at a concert at the end of the camp, showcasing their work. Each band performed two pieces, one by a female composer picked by the guest clinicians, and the other was a UIL piece.

The Concert Band performed first with Let Your Spirit Sing by Julie Giroux, a soft melodious piece, followed by J.S. Jig by Brant Karrick, an upbeat piece featuring a piccolo solo towards the end. Ms. Ruth Lim, from Covington Middle School Fine Arts Academy, conducted the Concert Band in the evening concert.

“I think it’s really exciting that the students get to play different music throughout the year and we don’t have to spend a lot of time on just three pieces,” Assistant Director Brandon Winters said. “Students are exposed to different conductors and instructors and just seeing everything come together in such a big event happen on a weekend, and all the students giving up time to come and do this, is really cool because everyone’s getting better.”

Next, the Symphonic Band took the stage with Three Celtic Dances by Brian Balmages, which consisted of three different movements, two light and upbeat movements, and one slow movement featuring a saxophone soloist. After that, they performed So Wondrous Bright by Carol Brittin Chambers, a fast moving Latin dance piece. Ms. Andrea Gonzalez, the head director at Anderson High School, conducted the Symphonic Band.

“The Symphonic Camp was a great experience, especially for the freshmen,” Elin Park ‘21 said. “It was a lot of fun to be able to perform for others and improve upon the feedback that the guest clinicians gave us. I think I did pretty well at the concert, but I can work on some dynamics and accents.”

The Wind Symphony set up after, and started with Cathedrals by Kathryn Salfelder. The band was set up in an unusual way, with two sets of trumpets facing each other, which gave a bouncing echo effect that allowed the piece to be interesting for the audience. Next, they performed Give Us This Day by David Maslanka, a piece with beautiful melodies and upbeat rhythms, and featured Jason Math ‘19 on the piano. Pamornpan Komolpamorn, a Thai student pursuing her Doctorate of Music and Arts, conducted the Wind Symphony.

“It was exciting working with people other than our original directors, especially with our conductor being from Thailand,” Anshul Moondra ‘20 said. “It was interesting to see the different perspectives of different cultures and to work on our UIL music.”

Finally, the Wind Ensemble began their performance with Symphony No. 3 IV. by Kimberly Archer, followed by The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas/Hindsley, both very long pieces filled with interesting rhythms, majestic melodies, and features in the trumpet, flute, piccolo, harp, piano, and other sections. Dr. Caroline Beatty, the Director of Bands and Associate Professor at Texas State University, directed the Wind Ensemble.

“Today was really cool because it reminded me of region band,” Penelope Higdon ‘22 said. “I’ve been to a lot of region band things in previous years, so it was fun to do something similar. I think the camp was really helpful because we sound a lot better on the pieces than we did before and we had different directors conducting us.”

The next band event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23 for UIL Solo and Ensemble.

About the Writer
Srilekha Cherukuvada, Reporter

This is my first year on student press and my third year of taking journalism. I love to write, read,...

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