Sound of music

Music department preparing for fall concerts

As the fall season is quickly approaching, the music department has been hard at work preparing for concerts, competitions, and additional performances. With the help of their directors, musicians have been busy learning new music and refining their skills in order to give the best performances possible come September. 

The band department consists of Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band, each with their own unique sound and practice regiment. Junior Nathan Christofolo, a member of the jazz band, remarked, “I am looking forward to learning all of the new techniques, getting better at improv, and meeting new people.” While sharing his goals for the upcoming season, Christofolo claimed that his favorite part about being a member of the band is the environment. Band director Benjamin Sampayan elaborated, “This group of students really has a heart for music and what they want to achieve and how they want to achieve it.” 

The department is becoming more of a team through their diligent practice and passion for their music. On Friday, Sept. 23, the three bands will come together to put on their fall concert starting at 6:30 p.m. Christofolo shared that the extensive practicing can become tiring, but overall the band is doing great and its members are feeling prepared for their upcoming show.

The choir department has also been busy preparing for their first concert on Monday, Sept. 19. The voices of Women’s, Advanced Women’s, Men’s, Intermediate Mixed, Concert, Chamber, and Show Choir can all be heard at the performance. Senior Concert Choir member, Rebecca Amend, said audience members should expect, “traditional gospels and things like that, but it’s still really exciting because Mr. Staley (choir director) doesn’t do anything traditionally.” 

Amend claimed that her own personal goals for the upcoming season are to, “be confident, be focused, and work hard. The more confident I am, the better I sound. It’s a mental thing for me.”  According to Amend, so far the practicing has been going well and the music that choir is preparing to share at their fall concert will provide the audience with a taste of the exciting pieces they have in store.

Dr. Valerie Dopp, the director of the Concert, Symphonic, and Chamber Orchestras, claimed her classes are also looking forward to a busy month ahead. All members are getting ready to play at the fall concert, taking place on Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. The advanced, or Chamber students are also preparing for their first public performance of the season at the Fall Orchestra Adjudicated Festival. 

Dopp carefully selects a wide variety of literature that will challenge her students. At this point, some of the pieces the orchestras are working on are ready to hit the stage, while some of the more challenging pieces still require some refining. Overall, Dopp explained, “They are getting better and better. I have confidence that by Sept. 12 we’ll be ready to go.” Furthermore, she shared, “We are having a great time, we’re improving on our instruments and playing a wide variety of music. So, it’s really fulfilling for the students and just lots of fun. We have a busy year ahead of us.”

The music department is focused and excited about their upcoming performances. For information on the fall concerts, visit the band or orchestra or choir’s websites.