Spring Concert

Ayana Duenas and Kayla Cortez

LONG BEACH CA- On Wednesday, March 8 2023, Wilson’s band and orchestra students performed in one of their most important concerts of the year, playing a full set of classical music. This is the time of the year where these students are preparing for competitions, as well as showcase their newly prepared pieces to friends and family.

Wilson’s intermediate orchestra opened the show; with the group being one the smallest music classes in the program, students from the advanced chamber orchestra accompanied them on stage.  Amongst their bold pieces was “Bass-ically Bluegrass,” a song featuring bass soloist Arrika Rice.

Rice, a freshman in the arts pathway, shared her thoughts about how she performed.  ”I felt nervous, but it was cool,” she said.  ”When I was playing at some point I stopped looking at the music and just started playing, since I had memorized it.”

Having the focus shift to a single musician is not an easy task, especially when being a freshman. She had mentioned that she does take private lessons and has done a few solo pieces before. It wasn’t her first solo performance, and she played loud and proud for her family and fellow classmates.

Simon Van Divort, a senior in the Arts Pathway, shared how he feels about the overall performance of the groups. 

“It was a great selection of pieces, a lot of Italian opera as Mrs. Ellis made it clear. ‘On Top of The World’ was a huge success, a great way to end the show,” Divort said.  “The intermediate orchestra [and] the bassist solo were fantastic. I really enjoyed that.”

Divort was also another bassist who had a solo at the concert; he played with a trio of cello soloists (Gabby Dee, Ulises Kuijken-Lewis, and Gaia Clark) in “II-Sarabande,” a movement in Antonin Dvorak’s “Suite For Strings.” Divort had nothing but positive things about his fellow classmates’ performance, and was mesmerized by Rice’s bass solo.

Wilson’s band director Mr. Messerschmidt presented one of the newer groups this semester, the beginning band. He took students who have not played a wind instrument before and had them perform a few pieces, amazing the crowd with an outstanding set. 

“I feel privileged to share my love of music with my students.” Messerschmidt said.  “I think teaching music and teaching to play in a band in a performance situation is really at the heart of what drives what we do as music teachers.”

Mrs. Ellis, the main music director for the music program, has been working extremely hard to pick out music and get her students to where she wants them to be before their festivals this month. 

“It’s a culmination of what the students have been learning since September,” she said. “We play our most difficult music, and our top groups take this music and go on to festivals and competitions. We take the more challenging music and pay attention to its detail.”

March is one of the most busy and stressful months for these students and teachers, but regardless they take it as a challenge and jump over any hurdle that comes their way. 

Gabby Dee, a Senior in the LPS Pathways says,“I am very stressed. Our very top groups are headed to Poly, then we’re headed to San Francisco. Lastly, a couple other performers and I are partaking in the musical “Into the Woods” as the pit orchestra. March is a lot.” 

With not only the Spring concert being one stepping stone to the final competition, it was one way for them to all evaluate themselves as a group. Though they may be stressed for the future, they played their all at the concert and amazed their audience once again.