Orchestra competition strings through the states

Earning the applause of the audience as they brought life into the concert hall, the Diamond Bar High School Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble performed at the David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center on April 2. 

From March 30 to April 3, the orchestra and band traveled to New York City for their performance, along with scheduled free time to explore the city. 

“The trip itself was very memorable, playing alongside students from the band while bringing life into the concert hall,” sophomore Angelina Wu said. “I was also able to go and explore New York City and spend time with my friends.” 

Since the pandemic, many highschool music programs have lost traction and are not near what they were before. Bringing both DBHS Wind Ensemble and Orchestra for the first time, the group experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

“Music is a way to bring people together in a genre to express yourself, spending time working towards a similar goal,” music instructor Steven Acciani said. 

Dr. Pierre Tang, who is currently in the process of earning his master degree in music and conducting, was invited as the guest conductor for the second time due to his skills and connection. 

“To get that honor was very special and I was very thankful,” Dr. Tang said. “I would love to work with them again.”

The trip itself was a by-product for the normal preparation of the performance. After attending rehearsals, watching the musical “Hamilton” and exploring New York City, the students had an enjoyable trip. 

“Playing at the concert while being with my friends was very exciting, I could feel the everyones energy as we got ready to play,” Senior Kaley Wong said. 

However, the students faced several challenges leading up to the trip including personal hurdles. Sophomore Angelina Wu, who is the third chair cello, faced struggles balancing both school work, extracurricular activities and preparing for the trip. 

“Finding a group effort where everyone would put in the same effort to play the pieces well was something we struggled with,” Wu said. 

The orchestra played Symphonie Fantastique, composed by Hector Berloiz. The piece carries a dark story of the artist’s obsession with a beautiful woman leading to despair. 

“Watching the kids come connected again since COVID, the struggle to do great things with music,” Acciani said. 

The overall performance given at David Greffen hall was fantastic, the fast tempo and steady beat of each bow brought life to the concert hall. 

“The people are the best, the students are the best, they are some of the best people I’ve worked with,” Dr. Teng said.