Poway High School senior Emma Cochran rehearses “Hypnotic Memories” on her piccolo. (photo by Ashley Shah)

Winter festival brings music to the stage

by Ashley Shah

Each year, Poway High School (PHS) holds its winter music festival. This year, the festival will be on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 in the Poway Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m.

On Feb. 26, the musical showcase will include a band from Twin Peaks Middle School (TPMS), the PHS Wind Ensemble 2, and the PHS Symphony Orchestra.

The next night, Feb. 27, there will be another showcase from a TPMS band, as well as the PHS Concert Band and Wind Ensemble 1 band.

PHS Concert Band includes the beginning level students who are just getting into music. Wind Ensemble 1 and 2 are the higher-level bands that will perform more difficult pieces of music.

All bands practice every day in class.

The PHS Symphony Orchestra practices every day in class, as well as participating in some practices outside of school so that the string students and wind and percussion students can practice together.

Each group will play around 15 to 20 minutes of music.

Concert Band will be performing “In Joyous Flight,” “Forgotten Tales of the West” and “Highlander.”

Wind Ensemble 2 will be playing “Hypnotic Memories” and “Metamorphic Dances.”

“I’m really excited to see how far our music has come, and to perform it in front of an audience as well as getting cliniced,” senior Emma Cochran said.

Wind Ensemble 1 will be performing a piece called “Symphonic Dance #3” and “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”

Symphony Orchestra will be playing “La Gazza Ladr,” and “Nabucco Overture.”

“The bands are doing great, and they’re working hard. It’s a lot to handle, but they’re rising to the occasion,” said Mike Cook, director of PHS Instrumental Music and PHS Performing Arts Department chair.

At this specific concert, each group will get cliniced by a clinician. The first two groups that perform each night will be cliniced privately; however, the last group to perform each night will be cliniced on stage.

Clinicians are judicators who come to talk personally to the students about what they can improve, what they are doing that is good and help drill in concepts that will make them better musicians.

There will be three clinicians, two from San Diego State University who are the directors of wind studies, and an orchestral conductor.

There will also be a retired middle school band director who will be clinicing the middle school bands.

The PHS band program has multiple concerts a year.

“It’s our season to play. The music that we’re playing is specifically written for these groups. It’s there to highlight us playing well. The selections we’re playing are fun, but they also challenge us musically and emotionally because the students have to experience the feelings to make the music sell well,” said Sylvester Sybilski, instrumental music director at Poway High School.

The music students also had a performance in December that showcases holiday music, and one will be in April.

Their last concert of the year will be at the end of the school year, which will be their spring concert that showcases the bands and soloists.

Tickets for the winter music festival will be $10 for adults; and all students are free for entry.

Poway High School student musicians rehearse for the winter music festival. (photo by Ashley Shah)