Orchestrating a performance

Cindy Liu, Staff Writer

Last week, 23 Diamond Bar High School Brahmas performed with the All State Honor Orchestra and Band, California’s group of most talented high school musicians. They are among a few who qualified to perform with the ensembles at San Jose after sending in recordings and passing selective audition rounds.

Led by conductor Kevin Noe, the Symphony Orchestra was scheduled to perform Hector Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9 and Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid” ballet suite.

Senior cello section leader Angelina Kim and sophomore oboist Amy Miyahara were the only two DBHS musicians playing in the Symphonic Orchestra.

“When I play hard music, I get better,” Kim said. “It’s really cool when you play a really hard piece of music and you go back home and work on the piece you’re working on and it’s so much easier.”

For her audition recording, she played a scale and excerpts from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Felix Mendelssohn’s Scherzo from “Midsummer Night’s Dream” Op. 61 and Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 Op. 90. She had about a month to prepare the excerpts and record her audition at a recording session at DBHS.

“I need to play well,” Kim said. “It’s kind of putting pressure on me because I’m a section leader here.”

In another ensemble, junior violinists Derek Su and Matthew Ho and violists sophomore Samantha Hong and freshman Jonathan Hoand played  in the String Orchestra. Conducted by Kirsten Marshall, the string orchestra performed Ottorino Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite 3 as well as Felix Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 1 in C Major (Allegro) and Dag Wiren’s Serenade for Strings, Op. 11 (Preludium, Andante and March)

In the Symphonic Band, seven DBHS students made the trip: senior alto saxophone player Joshua Park; juniors b-flat clarinet player Annabelle Wang, euphonium player Darshan Sonawala; French horn players Eliana Lontok and Rachel Kim; sophomore percussionist Johannah Chung and oboe player Catherine Zhang.

“Every year is different, so I’m excited to see what this year is going to be like,” Chung said.

For  the Wind Symphony, nine DBHS musicians were selected: juniors alto saxophone player Nicholas Lucero, b-flat clarinet player Halli Kato, percussionist Hampton Douglas, oboe player Clarissa Antoine, sophomores French horn player Isaac No, percussion player Jeremy Davis, baritone sax player Ryan Li and oboe player Darren Chiu. Additionally, junior percussionist Ryan Chao will perform with the Concert Band.