Band, orchestra return to district competitions

Katherine Kang, Staff Writer

After a year away from competition, Tualatin bands and orchestras have returned to play amongst other school’s ensembles in this spring’s league festivals and competitions. 

The Wind Ensemble, which is the highest-level band at Tualatin, competed in the Three Rivers League Band Festival held at Lake Oswego High School on Apr. 21. Senior Jacob Fitzpatrick, a percussionist in the Wind Ensemble, spoke about how the band was rehearsing in preparation for their festival.

“What we have been doing is just running through our same charts over and over again, doing spot checks here and there, and running through our program every single class. Basically, practice makes perfect,” he said.

Fitzpatrick also shared his thoughts about the band in terms of their preparedness a week before their performance at the festival.

“Our group is kind of small, and there are pockets of people that miss one or two or even three rehearsals in a row. This makes it hard to get the full sound as a group when we’re trying to rehearse,” he said. “In an upper level group, you’re trying to work more towards musicality rather than just playing the notes and what’s written on the page. When we have our clinicians in, they talk about phrasing and thinking about the emotion behind what you’re trying to do with your instrument.”

As for string ensembles, the Chamber Orchestra participates in a similar festival of their own. On Apr. 7, they performed at the District 5 Orchestra Competition, which was held at TuHS. Junior Sazna Jabbary, cellist in the Chamber Orchestra, reported about their performance at the competition.

“We were working on our pieces for months, basically after the winter concert, so it felt very refined and polished. There were very minimal points where I felt like nerves got to us, but overall, I actually really had fun and I enjoyed playing it.”

As for the group’s practice methods, Jabbary revealed that the rehearsals leading up to the festival were more focused on the details and musicality of their pieces. Each instrument section also worked individually to target specific parts that they struggled with.

However, Jabbary also stated, “I feel like we can take advantage of sectionals more because we’re very privileged to have that time.”

She hopes that this concern can be improved upon while the Chamber Orchestra works towards their Pops Concert in June.

Finally, the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra also joined together to make the TuHS Symphony, and the combined ensemble also performed at the District 5 Orchestra Competition on Apr. 7.

“I feel like there were certain points throughout our set where there was a disconnect between the band and the orchestra and what to agree on with dynamics or articulations,” Jabbary said. “But I personally love playing in the symphony, and I love the sound. Overall, it wasn’t the best performance ever, but it was good.”