Festive Fall Concert Commences 2017-18 VAPA

String Orchestra plays “Mythos” under the direction of Desmond Stevens.

Julia Kim, A&E Editor

To celebrate Portola’s performing arts students for the past two months, orchestra, band, choir and guitar showcased their skills at their opening Fall Concert on Oct. 26 in the theater.

Concert Band opened with “Air for Band,” playing various pieces with both melodious lines and upbeat phrases. Following Concert Band’s performance and during the transition to Concert Orchestra, sophomore Nishad Francis gave a short speech on what music meant to him as a student.

“I loved talk[ing] about the importance of music…A lot of what I do relate[s] to music, and that allows me to express myself and enjoy what I do, and I wanted to express that to everyone who came to watch the concert,” Francis said. “Being able to have everyone come together and perform and create beautiful harmonies went really well.”

String Orchestra followed, showcasing Soon Hee Newbold’s compositions and Beethoven’s famous “Adagio Cantabile.” Succeeding Concert Orchestra’s last piece, “Spirit of the American West,” Symphonic Band performed its pieces and concluded the first half of the concert with “The Cave You Fear” to highlight the upcoming holiday: Halloween.  

“I think it went pretty well, despite the fact that it was my first concert [at Portola],” freshman and clarinetist Hyunwoo Shin said.  “I liked how Symphonic Band [played] “Sea Songs”; I enjoyed playing during this piece.”

After intermission, choir opened the second half of the concert starting with “Homeward Bound,” featuring two soloists: sophomore Joseph Kim and freshman Stella Park, and a piano accompaniment by Francis. Throughout its performance, choir included features of four songs, including: a string quartet appearance by sophomores Daniel Han, Esther Jung, Audrey Chiang and Andy Son, a piano and djembe feature by freshman Solmi Park and sophomore Yunseong Jeong and a percussion feature with sophomores Ali Elmalky, Yunseong Jung and Simrat Singh for the choir’s finale, “Verde Mar de Navegar.”

“I thought it was a big success; everyone had a lot of fun,” choir director Adrian Rangel-Sanchez said. “I had a wonderful experience, especially because I knew all the students had fun, and that made everything so worth it.”

The final two performances were given by Guitar II, starting off with the song “Haiku” and finishing off with a jazz and contemporary song, “Swing It,” featuring sophomores Samira Feili, Tyler Sylvester, Caleb Ong, Larry Wu and freshmen Woojin Jeong.

As the finale of the concert, Symphonic Orchestra performed the classic “October” and finished strong with “Point Lookout,” ending the concert with a euphonious harmony. In conclusion to the long night, attendees congratulated the performers, leaving the theater with a happy heart.

“[The concert] went really well. I was really nervous at the beginning… but [everyone] really pulled it together,” VAPA department chair Desmond Stevens said. “Bravo to all the students who performed today, and I can’t wait for our December concert!”