Orchestra students from String, Concert, and Symphony kicked off the end of March by playing in the SCSBOA festival and sweeping up Superior in all categories.
The Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) organizes festivals for high school and middle school orchestras/bands from California. The festivals are great learning opportunities as well as fun experiences for the musicians. This year, Arcadia High School was able to put the famed Performing Arts Center to use by hosting an SCSBOA festival! Although it was our first time hosting, the process went by smoothly with the help of the wonderful music directors and the many student and parent volunteers.
For the festival, several orchestras and bands from Southern California performed their repertoire in front of judges. Festivals have the option of hosting a clinic or rated sight reading session after the performances. This year, as the first year back from online learning, all SCSBOA festivals were required to do the clinic option with one of the judges, who worked and provided advice on certain aspects of their playing.
After the performance and clinic, the ensembles received a rating from each judge. The ratings were as follows: Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair, and etc.
Each one of the participating music groups at AHS received a Superior rating. Many students found the experience insightful and fun since they were able to learn in a different environment.
Sophomore Anushka Rajendra plays violin in String Orchestra. Anushka said that “receiving the judges’ comments was a little nerve wracking but it helped us work on things we needed to improve. Overall, the clinic with one of the judges was nice since we got to hear feedback directly and it was refreshing to work with someone new.”
Although it was scary for some people, it was still an exhilarating experience for others. Since it “was [the] first festival for some of us… being able to play at our own hall also made it feel like home,” said Faith Harnanto, a violinist in Concert Orchestra.
Overall, the experience was priceless and being able to host an on-campus festival will forever be a special memory.