Music of the night


Conducted by band director Corneliu Olariu, the Wind Ensemble performs in the theater on May 18. The Spring Concert included performances by the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and solos by Danny Atalah and Zachary Wickham.

In their last performance of the year, the music program held its Spring Concert in the Downey High Theatre, on May 18, to showcase the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble.

The evening started off with Concert Band’s exciting performance of “Critical Mass” by Todd Stalter, which caught the audience’s attention with the dissonance of the first chord. Slowing it down a bit with Frank Ticheli’s “Shenandoah”, the group showed maturity with their ability to play more mellow songs with precision. The final piece performed by Concert Band was the avant-garde “Pulsation” by Richard L. Saucedo; the work began with a soloistic dialogue between flute and clarinet, then progressed to more complex sonorities, including percussive effects such as clapping and shouting.

“It’s a night to remember and I appreciate all the faces there,” Ricardo Medina said. “Everyone in general was down because it was the last performance of the season, especially for the seniors.”

After performing the three pieces that made up their set list, the Concert Band was joined on stage by the Wind Ensemble for a performance of next season’s parade march: “The Gladiator March” by John Phillip Sousa. An intermission followed this joint performance where snacks and refreshments were being sold by Color Guard.

As the audience made their way back to their seats, the Wind Ensemble took the stage once again with the energetic “Fortress Variations” by Tim Waters. The students got a short break when two seniors, Dany Atallah and Leila Rasas, performed individual solos while accompanied by band director Cory Olariu on piano.

“I really enjoyed the musicality from each and every performer,” Carlos Soto said.

Once again performing as a group, the Wind Ensemble played the bouncy, upbeat “Bayou Breakdown” by Brant Karrick, which had a Southern feel to it. The final piece of the evening was the driving “Danzas Cubanas”, a Latin number by Robert Sheldon, which featured soloists Marjan Abubo on trombone, Zac Wickham on trumpet, and Ricardo Medina on flute.

At the end of the evening there was a somber mood backstage as many hugs and goodbyes were exchanged among students, specifically between the seniors and underclassmen.

“I’m gonna miss all of the seniors,” freshman Carina Covarrubias said. “I learned a lot from them.”

Throughout the festival season, the Concert Band earned a rating of ‘Excellent’, the second highest possible rating a group can receive. Having a very successful season, the Wind Ensemble received a ‘Superior’ rating at Regionals. Both the students and director Mr. Olariu were very pleased with the grade they received; it was the first time in ten years that one of the groups received a ‘Superior’ at Regionals. With both a successful season and concert, students felt contented with their concluding performance of the year.