Irvington students perform at statewide music convention
July 25, 2016
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By Cathy Wang | Opinions Editor
Irvington seniors Velvia Lau and Tiffany Lin, juniors Cathy Liu and Justin Pi, sophomores Rukmini Bose and Raymond Zhao, and freshman Clyde Li qualified for and performed at the annual California All-State Music Conference (CASMEC) in San Jose’s Fairmont Hotel.
At the conference, musicians gave a live audition to a panel of judges, who then divide them into three bands. During the first three days of their four-day stay from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14, each of these three bands worked with well-known conductors from across the country to learn and rehearse songs. Northwestern Professor Mallory Thompson conducted the wind symphony, which performed David Maslanka’s “California” as a world-premier. Symphonic band, conducted by Arizona State University Professor Gary Hill, and concert band, conducted by University of Southern California Assistant Professor Sharon Levery, practiced and performed a variety of songs.
“The guest conductor of the Symphonic Band chose mostly contemporary pieces. That was a surprise, because they’re not very common,” said Lau, who has played the flute for seven years. “For one piece, ‘Concerto for Electric Guitar and Wind Orchestra’ by Jim Booney, the composer himself came to play electric guitar.”
Students also got a chance to socialize with other musicians and watch guest bands, such as YouTube-famous Simply Three and the Hijiyarma Girls Junior and Senior High School Wind Orchestra from Japan.
This year is the first that the conference has been hosted in San Jose.
“This event has been held for 59 years in numerous places all over California,” said Bose, who plays the euphonium and qualified for All-States last year as well, “This year it was held in San Jose, so it was pretty close. We’re hoping to have a lot of friends and family come for our performance.”
“It’s honestly such a great experience being able to play with such great musicians that share your passion.” said Pi, a third-time All-States qualifier who plays the alto saxophone.