Great Performances in Big Cities

Sophia Kim, Staff Writer

During the past few weeks, you may have looked around and noticed some empty seats in your classrooms. Traveling out of state, Diamond Bar High School’s wind ensemble, choir, color guard, and symphony orchestra showcased their talents off campus during recent trips.

From March 23-27, DBHS’ Wind Ensemble traveled to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall. The students played a 30-minute piece titled “Symphony No. 4” composed by David Maslanka, which they started practicing last December. This performance was not for a competition, but rather for feedback from the judges, to help them improve through the experience.

“Honestly, I think for us, performing at Carnegie Hall was just for the experience,” Kashiwabara said. “We played one of the hardest band pieces ever written, in one of the best halls in the world.”

Aside from their performance, Wind Ensemble students were able to visit the Empire State building, watch “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway and visit Times Square.

A few days after band returned from New York, DBHS’ choir team had the opportunity to fly to Orlando to compete at FAME, a national show choir competition. Only one school per state was invited to compete at FAME, and DBHS’ choir team represented California. During their trip from March 30 to April 3, the Marquis and Solitare team each performed their own set of songs.

Marquis’ performance focused on elevators, while Solitaire’s show was themed around keys. Marquis took third in the Mixed Division, while Solitaire won first runner up in the Unisex division. This is the first time choir has competed at FAME in nearly a decade.

“We were so excited to perform our set for the second time and it was just a lot of fun getting to sing on a national stage,” senior Nicolas Zhou said.

From April 5-10, DBHS’ varsity color guard team traveled to Ohio to compete at the WGI World Championships, for the first time in the school’s history. They competed for the open class preliminary rounds, against 51 different color guard teams from all around the world. They performed their piece, “Finding Color in the Dark,” which portrays a message about people with visual disabilities continuing their passion with the help of music.

Meanwhile, from April 8-10, DBHS’ symphony orchestra went to San Francisco for a recording session at George Lucas’ Skywalker Sounds studios, the same studio where the “Star Wars” soundtrack was recorded. They recorded a 20-minute piece, called “Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances,” from “West Side Story,” and the first movement of “Mahler Symphony 3.”

Besides recording music, the students also saw the San Francisco Symphony and visited DBHS’ alumni in UC Berkeley’s symphony orchestra.