On Friday, March 4th, the band festivals began with a Symphonic band at Warner Pacific University, and in May, the state band contest will be held in Corvallis. Not all of the festivals being held are competitions, but the ones that are contests give you points, and those points are what qualifies you to go to state. In order to be eligible you must receive 75 points or higher from 2 judges. The Freshman and Concert band are performing at Gresham High school on Tuesday March 15, while the Symphonic band will be performing at state in Corvallis . In the competitions, they go against schools around the state of Oregon and from the Mt. Hood Conference. They are given half an hour to warm up and perform at the festivals. They also get to speak with adjudicators who give them tips and talk with them. Adjudicators then give the band class a random song that they have never heard to perform for them. Paul Nickolas, band director, is very proud of the band class, “they have been working hard and practicing every day to get to where they are,” Nickolas says. “The winner wins a trophy, but even if you lose, you still go there to improve and have fun; it gives my class a chance to perform,¨ Nickolas states. You also qualify for the state band contest if you win, but you have to achieve a current level. The Freshman band will perform Adrenaline Engines, the Concert band will perform Earth Dawn, and the Symphonic band will perform Alluminision. “It’s neat that all the bands get a chance to travel, perform and just get a chance to play to different people,” Nickolas says.
The choir festivals started on Friday February 25th at George Fox University and their last festival will be on April 12 which is the Mt Hood Conference at Gresham High school. Most of their festivals are OSAA State Qualifiers where you must receive a 2 qualifying scores, 81 or more out of 100 in order to qualify for a tape pool. Then judges from out of state listen to the tape pool to determine which choir will be able to compete in the State choir in May, and their only actual competition is the Mt Hood conference festival in April and the winner is an automatic qualifier for the State contest. There are a variety of different schools and school classifications that attend the festivals and sometimes they come from all over the state, but except for the League choir festivals which is made up of the Mt Hood Conference 6A schools.
When all choirs arrive at the festivals they spend a block of time in a warm up room, performing on stage and possibly doing a clinic with a judge or even sight reading in a different room. The choir class likes to sometimes stay for as long as they listen to the other choirs before they head home. There are 5 choir classes at Barlow, and out of those 5 Concert choir is their OSAA competition group. They refer to it as the “robe” choir and it is made up of mostly juniors and seniors, and there are no individuals that wn. The choir class has been preparing 5 pieces to perform which are Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord by Undine Moore, featuring Toby Neighorn and Andrew Schroeder on solos, Set Me As A Seal by Richard Nance, featuring Andrew Shroeder on French Horn, Awake the Harp by Franz Joseph Haydn, Adoramus te Christe by Orlando di Lasso, and Miniyama Nayo by Paul Rudoi, featuring Brandon Martinez and Dustin Bell on solos. “Returning singing has been no easy feat. We had to conquer a lot of fears, and really grow together as a team. Through a lot of bonding and trust activities, our choir is now stronger than ever! I’m so proud to be a part of such an outstanding group of students.” says the choir teacher, Amber Schroeder.