Eagle Regiment, Concert Band, and Jazz Ensemble Perform in England

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.

Massed Band, composed of more than 350 musicians, at the Royal Hall Harrogate – photo by Paul Chilopoulos

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.

Eagle Regiment at Fountains Abbey- photo by Suzanne Dumas

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.

Jazz Ensemble at the Old Swan Hotel – photo by Paul Chilopoulos

Ripley Castle - photo by Suzanne Dumas

Concert Band at Ripley Castle – photo by Suzanne Dumas

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.

Concert Band at St James Church, Birstwith – photo by Paul Chilopoulos

Chaminade Gala Tickets On Sale

Tickets to Chaminade Gala, the school’s biggest fundraising event of the year, are available for purchase online. This year’s gala will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017, in the International Ballroom of The Beverly Hilton. Guests will experience a fun and memorable evening while supporting the students and teachers of Chaminade College Preparatory:

6:00 p.m. Cocktail reception and silent auction
7:30 p.m. Dinner, live auction, and student performances
10:30 p.m. Dancing until midnight

During the fund-a-need portion of gala, the Chaminade family will remember a beloved Marianist and honor his legacy with the establishment of the Bro. Skip Matthews Apostolic Works Endowment. The fund will support student social justice projects and enhance one of the most important parts of the educational experience at Chaminade, Apostolic Works. If you are unable to attend gala, you can still honor Bro. Skip by giving a gift online.

Chaminade Honors Four New Founders

Chaminade College Preparatory’s West Hills campus was a little more crowded than usual this morning. Instead of the usual 1,200 high school students, there were 2,021 middle and high school students, gathered together to celebrate the school’s annual Founders Day Mass.

Main celebrant, Fr. Martin Solma, S.M., led the Mass and was joined by concelebrants, Fr. John-Paul Gonzalez ’97 of Christ the King (Hollywood), Fr. Jim Mueller, S.M. of Central Catholic High School (San Antonio, Texas), and Fr. Ted Ley, S.M. ’58. Together, the Chaminade family remembered Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and recognized four individuals for the contributions they have made to the school.

This year, Chaminade honored Nancy (Valtin) Leone ’86, Cynthia Snyder, David Poms, and Sandra Poms as founders. Nancy and Cynthia are both 25-year employees of the school, while David and Sandra are longtime benefactors and volunteers. Chaminade President, Rob Webb presented each founder with a medal at the end of Mass.

Founders Day also included a renewal of vows for the Marianist brothers and priests. Between them, Bro. Jack Dempsey, S.M.; Bro. David Betz, S.M.; Fr. Martin Solma, S.M.; Fr. Jim Mueller, S.M.; and Fr. Ted Ley, S.M. have 297 years of religious profession!

Chaminade to Hold its First Alumni Hall of Fame

On February 4, 2017, Chaminade College Preparatory will host its first Alumni Hall of Fame and celebrate the achievements of Kate (Lospalluto) Beskid ’00; Meghan Hawthorne ’10; Conor McCullough ’09; Kevin Pillar ’07; and Captain Duncan Smith, USN ’76. Previously, alumni athletes and distinguished alumni were honored during two separate ceremonies. The new tradition combines both events and recognizes graduates for their professional achievements, dedication to the school, and service to the community.

kateAfter graduating from the University of Arizona in 2004, Kate Beskid ’00 returned to her alma mater as a 7th-grade religion teacher. For the last 13 years, she has served the Chaminade community in many ways—teaching, coaching cheer, working with Student Council, and much more. In 2009, Kate, along with Annette (Dietel) Damien ’01, founded the middle school’s SHINE program. She was the chair of the religion department for eight years and is currently Chatsworth’s director of campus ministry. Kate is part of the Marianist National Program and served as their regional coordinator for the Pacific for three years and works with the national LIFE program as well.

meghanMeghan Hawthorne ’10 was a record-breaking swimmer for Chaminade. She won titles in the 100 butterfly (2010), 500-yard freestyle (2008), broke the CIF-SS D1 record for the 200 individual medley (2010), and was named L.A. Daily News Swimmer of the Year in 2008 and 2010. She was a two-time All-American Swimmer at the University of Southern California, and reached the Pac-12 Championships finals seven times. As a member of the USA Swimming National Team, she reached the final of the 400 IM during the 2012 Olympic Trials and earned a silver medal in the same event for the United States at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Meghan is retired from swimming and is in her second season as assistant swimming and diving coach for Boise State University.

conor_olympic-trials-medal-picBy the time Conor McCullough graduated from Chaminade in 2009, he held five national hammer throwing records and a 2008 World Junior Championships silver medal. He continued his athletic career first at Princeton University, then at the University of Southern California. In 2010, he won the USATF Junior National competition and secured his first international gold medal at the World Junior Championships. While at USC, Conor won the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championship. He made his Team USA debut in 2015 and finished second at the USATF National Championship and earned a bronze medal in the hammer throw at the Pan-American Games. Conor represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was the highest ranking Team USA athlete for the hammer throw.

pillarKevin Pillar ’07 was played football, basketball, and baseball for Chaminade, and earned first-team All-CIF honors in each sport. He continued his baseball career at California State Dominguez Hills as an All-American center fielder. As a freshman, he had a .379 batting average and set the NCAA Division II record with a 54-game hitting streak in 2010. During the 2011 Major League Baseball draft, the Toronto Blue Jays selected Kevin, and he made his debut on August 14, 2013, against the Boston Red Sox. He was named the 2015 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and was a Golden Glove finalist. In 2016, Kevin was again a Golden Glove finalist, received the Fielding Bible Award, and was nominated for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award.

d-smithCaptain Duncan Smith, USN ’76 is a Navy SEAL and American hero. An involved student at Chaminade, he ran cross-country and track, played on the tennis team, took photos for the yearbook, competed in Speech and Debate, and served as senior class president. He graduated from the University of Southern California, and after a year of working and cycling in New Zealand, he worked as a stockbroker. Duncan later joined the Navy and became a Navy SEAL in 1986 with BUD/S Class 137. He served as an officer in Special Operations platoons at SEAL Teams One and Five before transitioning to the Navy Reserve while attending the Anderson School at UCLA. In September 2001, Duncan returned to active duty in Naval Special Warfare where he has served with distinction the last 16 years. Captain Smith’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action ribbon, and both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaign medals.

To attend Chaminade’s inaugural Alumni Hall of Fame event, please purchase tickets online.

 

 

Family Mass and Dinner to be Held January 29

fr-chaminadeChaminade College Preparatory will begin Catholic Schools Week with the celebration of Mass on Sunday, January 29 in honor of the school’s Marianist heritage. Immediately following Mass a dinner will be held in the Student Center.

Family Mass is for both the West Hills and Chatsworth campuses, and will be celebrated as one school. To RSVP, please click here.

Family Mass
Sunday, January 29
5:00 p.m.
Fr. Allen DeLong Center
10210 Oakdale Ave
Chatsworth, CA 91311

All students, parents, alumni, grandparents, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend.