SPHS Band Scores at Competitions and Heads to Finals on Saturday

By Jason Liu

PHOTO: Lina Cho | South Pasadena News | Members of the Symphonic Band at the Anaheim Heritage Festival, L-R: Perrine Changkuon, Mina Wu, Jillian Ran, Alyssandra Lachica, Evi Lopez Campbell, Michael Holmes, Katherine Name, Avik Gautam, Michelle Chen

On March 25th, the South Pasadena High School instrumental music program participated in its first concert music competition in two years. The Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Ensemble each prepared a repertoire of pieces to perform at the Anaheim Heritage Festival, competing against groups from California, Arizona, Utah, and Montana.

PHOTO: Aimee Yokomizo | South Pasadena News | The SPHS Symphonic Band performing at the 2022 Anaheim Heritage Festival.

Evi Lopez Campbell, a junior in the Symphonic Band, said, “It was a great experience, and I learned so much! I had such a fun time playing with my peers.”

The Symphonic Band received a Gold rating, placing 3rd overall. The Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble each received Silver ratings.

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Brad Kim, a senior in the Symphonic Band, said, “We were all somewhat nervous, seeing that we had around only two weeks to play as a complete ensemble. Even though it wasn’t at all perfect, we were proud of how much we had improved over those two weeks and in the end, we were excited to hear we received gold.”

PHOTO: Aimee Yokomizo | South Pasadena News | The SPHS Percussion Ensemble performing their show, “Heavenbound,” at SCPA Semifinals.

Similar to its more well-known counterpart, marching band, indoor percussion also involves performers playing music while marching and dancing. But unlike marching band in the fall, in indoor percussion/winter drumline (or “winterline” as its members say), students play percussion instruments and march inside of a gym.

The show that the SPHS percussion ensemble has been rehearsing and polishing since the start of the year is titled “Heavenbound.” The production attempts to capture the thoughts and feelings that come with losing a loved one.

SPHS participates in the highly competitive Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) circuit in the Percussion Scholastic A division. On April 2, the performers competed in SCPA Championship Prelims at Chino Hills High School. Earning a score of 85.20, SPHS advanced to SCPA Semifinals for the first time in school history, placing 4th in its round and 11th overall out of over 50 ensembles.

PHOTO: Aimee Yokomizo | South Pasadena News | The front ensemble warming up at SCPA Prelims. From left to right: Brad Kim, Alicia Wilgoren, Christopher Kuizon, Charlie Miller, Alexander Nielsen, Edward Zhao, Adit Gautam (staff), Yunha Bae

On April 10, the ensemble made the long drive to Great Oak High School in Temecula, CA to compete for a chance to perform at SCPA Finals. With a score of 88.15, SPHS placed 6th in its round (9th overall out of 24 groups) and earned a spot at SCPA Finals.

This Saturday (April 16), the SPHS Percussion Ensemble will travel to Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA to compete with 11 other top A-class high school ensembles in Southern California. The general public is welcome to come out to Toyota Arena to watch the shows that students have worked so hard to perfect. Tickets range from $30-50 and SPHS performs at 10:27 am.

Students in the ensemble are excited to be able to perform on the biggest stage that the SPHS music program has ever performed on. Senior Jillian Ran expressed her sentiments about the season, saying, “I’m really excited to just have a season again, since we lost ours two years ago due to the pandemic. For me, it’s about putting on our best performance instead of worrying about the scores. I’m really happy to have one more week of this season, and I hope we have a good show on Saturday!”