Chaminade College Preparatory’s high school band and choir will perform their final performances of the 2016-2017 school year on Thursday, May 18. The concert begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets may be purchased online and are $5 for adults and $3 for students.
By Ken Hoffman
Over Easter break, Chaminade’s West Hills Instrumental Music Department participated in the Harrogate International Youth Festival of Music and Performing Arts, which offers young musicians a unique opportunity to meet and perform with other ensembles from around the world. Each year, in celebration of Easter week, the town of Harrogate, in North Yorkshire England, hosts bands, choirs, dance troupes and ensembles of youth performers from many different countries. This year, Chaminade’s Eagle Regiment, Concert Band, and Jazz Ensemble represented the United States.
On the first day of their trip, Chaminade students practiced their ability to “adapt and change” when they discovered that their rental percussion instruments had broken heads. Of course, that didn’t slow them down. After a brief rehearsal, the students did some sightseeing in the city of York, where they walked around the medieval city walls built in the first century.
Chaminade’s first performance featured Eagle Regiment in the Parade of Nations through the historic spa town of Harrogate. The opening concert followed in the Royal Hall Harrogate. Built in 1903, this historic venue offered a breathtaking Edwardian setting, where Chaminade’s Concert Band made its festival debut. The evening ended with the Massed Band, composed of more than 350 musicians from the UK, USA, Canada, Russia and Thailand/China all performing together.
On Easter Sunday, the Eagles attended Mass at St. John Fisher, a Catholic high school in Harrogate. That afternoon, Eagle Regiment performed at Fountains Abbey UNESCO World Heritage site, one of England’s largest and best-preserved Cistercian monastery ruins. In the evening, the Jazz Ensemble brought the house down at the annual Jazz Night, held in the famous Old Swan Hotel, from Agatha Christie lore. Space was at a premium in that venue, so the rest of the participants attended an open mic night at a nearby hotel, with Maya Angulo ’17 rocking the house with some Slam Poetry.
Monday, the Concert Band gave a magnificent performance at Ripley Castle, an estate just outside of Harrogate. That evening, the Eagle musicians had their first chance to hear some of the other performers, most notably a choir from Finland and a Russian violin ensemble.
Chaminade’s Concert band saved the best for last. On the final day of the festival at Birstwith’s St. James Church, they performed Psalm 42, an English folk song arranged by Samuel Hazo, bringing the audience to tears as the final note of the trumpet solo receded and the full band joined in. Later the Eagles attended a concert in the Ripon Cathedral, which dates back to the seventh century.
Before coming home, Chaminade students had a chance to do some sightseeing in London and catch a comedy show at the Criterion Theatre at Piccadilly Circus.
Next week Chaminade College Preparatory’s high school students invite the Chaminade family to attend two concerts. Both events will be held at the Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts (West Hills).
Instrumental Winter Concert
Thursday, December 15
Choral Concert and Sing-along,
A Chaminade Christmas
Saturday, December 17
Chaminade alumni are invited to enjoy the Instrumental Winter Concert music on December 15, and are also welcome to join the band onstage for the last piece of the evening, Sleigh Ride. Attendees who would like more information on music, or need to borrow an instrument for the song may contact High School Band Director, Ken Hoffman. Tickets are $5 per adult, and may be purchased at the door. Children and alumni are free.
The choral concert and sing-along will be performed by the Chaminade Concert Choir, Chorus Class, Lord’s Chords (high school liturgical choir), and the Chaminade Adult Choir. Tickets are $5 per student and $10 per adult, and may be purchased online.
C-Notes (middle school choir)
Saturday, December 3
Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts (West Hills)
Middle school band
Sunday, December 4
Fr. Allen DeLong Center for Arts and Athletics (Chatsworth)
Tickets to the C-Notes concert, Christmas Bells are Ringing are available for purchase online, and are $10 per child and $15 per adult.
Tickets to the Winter Band concert are available for purchase online and are $5 per person. After 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 4, tickets may be purchased at the door for $7 per person.
by Ken Hoffman
Each year, the city of Castellón de la Plana in Spain holds a festival celebrating the founding of the city in honor of the Virgin Mary. A part of the celebration includes the Festival Internacional de Musica, with performances from bands from around the world. This year, Chaminade’s Eagle Regiment was one of those bands. In festival history, there have been only four appearances by a band from the United States.
The first full day in Spain was busy for the band. Their first event was an Intersolfa – an informal parade when the circus comes to town. Traffic stopped for the band as it began to march through town to advertize the upcoming musical festivities, and draw people to the park for the Mascletas. At the halfway mark, the band stopped to play for the members at one of the Gaitas, or community social clubs. The regiment then continued to the park, where they played a standstill performance for the attendees.
The band became tourists and witnessed the Mascletas, a fireworks competition part of the Magdalena. Fireworks shows are judged on musical concepts like balance, pacing, rhythm, dynamics, etc. After a short rest, the band participated in another parade; this time with a band from Poland. This parade had an audience of more than 1,000 people, and involved throwing colorful confetti.
To finish the day, Eagle Regiment participated in Animacion, or the stage show. With bands from Poland, Hungary, and Holland, Chaminade’s band performed a stage show for an audience of more than 3,000 in the town square, Plaça Major. Under the lights and with a national television audience, Eagle Regiment thrilled the crowd with their performance!
Friday, the band’s second day in Spain included the International Parade. In addition to the bands which had performed the night before, we were joined by the bands from Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, and Croatia. While the International Parade was not excessively long in length (just under three miles), it took approximately two hours, and Chaminade students performed like seasoned vets! The crowd of over 30,000 people smiled, clapped, and cheered.
The students and teachers also participated in a brief ceremony at City Hall, where Drum Major Kyle Pineda presented gifts to the Mayor. Eagle Regiment traveled to Onda and visited St. Mary’s, a church built in 1240. After their excursion to Onda, they attended Mass on Saturday night.
During the march to Plaça Major a Dutch band, Damiate Haarlem, asked Eagle Regiment to march with them. The two groups joined together and held an impromptu parade through the streets with Damiate Haarlem.
This final stage performance was in front of an audience of more than 3,000. The Dutch and Polis bands waited for Eagle Regiment to conclude their performance and they all marched back together. A marathon blocked their parade back, so for the next hour, they held had an impromptu concert in the streets, and a crowd of hundreds gathered around to listen.
On their last day in Spain, Eagle Regiment was invited to be the final band in a parade that started at 10:00 p.m. The students truly demonstrated all that is asked of them as Marianists, and they have set the standard for many others to follow.