Evening Concert Makes a Pop

American High School Band and Choir Performs for Fundraiser

Megumi Kamikawa

Staff Writer

    American High School’s Concert Band and Choir performed for the Pops Italian Concert fundraiser and silent auction event on March 21, 2014, taking up over half the rotunda with seats for the audience and performers.

    Starting from 6:30 PM, volunteers began providing and serving a variety of Italian cuisine, including pasta with tomato or alfredo sauce, salad, and fresh fruits or cake for dessert. While the dining continued on for about an hour, the band and choir members like Lea Barrios prepared for the production on the other half of the rotunda.

    “Choir began learning, practicing and singing Les Miserables songs since the last concert,” junior Lea Barrios (Choir) said. “We’ve been working on singing out more confidently and projecting our voices.”

Music and choir teacher Mr. Wong conducts one of the first of many numbers performed by the Concert Band. The student performers poured all their efforts into the production as the music echoed around the entirety of the rotunda. “Each instrument gives me an adrenaline rush, like when I’m playing mallets and I’m able to play some 16th note run well,” Hsiao said. “Or when I’m playing violin and there’s a note I’m holding out that’s perfectly in tune that fits amazingly with the rest of the band!”
Music and choir teacher Mr. Wong conducts one of the first of many numbers performed by the Concert Band. The student performers poured all their efforts into the production as the music echoed around the entirety of the rotunda. “Each instrument gives me an adrenaline rush, like when I’m playing mallets and I’m able to play some 16th note run well,” Hsiao said. “Or when I’m playing violin and there’s a note I’m holding out that’s perfectly in tune that fits amazingly with the rest of the band!”

    As the singers warmed up their voices in the back, the concert band rolled into their seats to perform their first number. Freshman Zoe Hsiao, a member of the Concert Band, added flavor to the performance as she joined the rest of the musicians with her strings.

    “I played percussion during the last performance in December, but this was my first time playing violin,” Hsiao said. “I thought every group did really well, and I liked the pieces that everyone played, too.”

    After several musical numbers by the band, the choir began filing in onto the bleachers set alongside the grand piano and percussion instruments.

    “I think we all did a good job,” Barrios said. “I only wish the audience could have heard the soloists a little better. Some people I spoke to told me a couple of the soloists were difficult to hear, which is unfortunate because they all sound amazing.”

    The Choir’s performance featured several student soloists including freshman Saisha Agrawal, sophomore Rachel Kimura, juniors Nathan Yeung, Christine Pagador, Allyssa Donesa, Joseph Chang, and seniors Veronica Lopez, Gladys Kuo, Jireh Huang, and Nicki Karki. With students that hold so much passion for performing, the event provided the budding musicians and singers with the opportunity to share their enjoyment with the audience.

    “Sometimes, solo performances can have more of an impact on the audience because in those intimate moments, the crowd is able to absorb every soloist’s unrestrained passion,” Pagador (Choir soloist) said. “As a soloist, I had the opportunity to leave a small part of myself with the audience, exposed through my voice. It just feels so amazing, knowing that my heart was felt by someone other than me.”

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