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On December 20th, WCHS held its annual Christmas Concert. The concert featured Westside Christian High School’s 12-time State Championship choir and State Championship band. Soli Deo Gloria, our auditioned choir, and Adult Supervision, a barbershop quartetfeaturing three WCHS students and Mr. Fox, also performed some toe-tapping Christmas classics. And special guests, The SenateAires Chorus performed.
This event is always a highlight of the year. Families, alumni, and community members showed up to support and enjoy WCHS’s growing music programs.
Photo Credit: Peter Van Houten
Westside Christian High School’s Performing and Fine Arts students will be having their Spring Concert and Art Show tonight, May 21st, at Westside. The Art Show begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Commons, followed by the Concert in the Gym at 7:00 p.m.
The concert will feature four award-winning ensembles:
- The Concert Choir (for the 12th consecutive year) won the 2018 OSAA 3A State Choir Championship on May 3rd!
- The Concert Band (in its second year of existence) captured the 2018 OSAA 3A State Band Championship on May 9th!
- Soli Deo Gloria had another great year and finished second at the Pleasant Hill Jazz Festival! on April 21st!
- Adult Supervision, a barbershop quartet made up of three Westside students and Mr. Fox, finished second at the Oregon State Barbershop Quartet Contest on April 7th!
This will be the final time this school year to see and hear these ensembles perform a full concert, including the numbers that won them their awards. Make every effort to join us for the celebration. Cookies and drinks will follow as we lift up a toast to the students for an incredible year of music-making!
The Westside Christian High School Concert Band assembled at 6:30am Wednesday, March 9th, for a trip to the Oregon State Band Championships and a chance to compete with nine of the top 3A bands in the state. Qualifying for the state championships in April was astounding enough for a band program that was established just one year ago, with a shoestring budget, a few donated / very used instruments, and a lot of heart. Six boys playing horns (no percussion) worked steadily that first year. Ten students (nine boys and one special girl) comprise this year’s band, with two of the boys adding percussion to the band for the first time!
Upon arriving at Oregon State University, the band got a feel for the LaSells Stewart Center Auditorium by listening to one of the other competing bands. The group then assembled together with instruments in hand and entered the warm-up room at 9:55am. In the warm-up room, the band tuned to one another so that unison notes and chords would create a pleasant experience for our audience. Ten minutes before the band’s 10:20am performance, our two percussion players were escorted to the stage to set up their percussion instruments. The rest of the band was then invited to the stage and introduced.
The band played well through its 5-piece song set, which included the St. Petersburg March, Clarinet Rag, Black Forest Overture, Three Ayres of Gloucester, and Moscow, 1941. The band played with crispness, good intonation and a very pleasant sound to the ear. The audience couldn’t believe this band of ten students (who are only freshmen and sophomores) could sound so full and wonderful. Students and directors alike kept stopping band members all day with kind compliments.
Following the stage performance, the band was escorted to the sight reading room, where they were given seven minutes for Mr. Fox to talk through and prepare them to play through an entire piece of music for the very first time. The anxiety of the sight reading room is palpable. Fortunately, our band was able to navigate the selection in reasonable fashion, scoring 43 out of 60 points.
Following the sight reading experience, the band was finally able to relax, listening to the other competing bands, taking pictures outside in the sunshine, and grabbing a light snack before the awards assembly. At 1:20pm, all of the bands and their directors were honored before the announcement of the finalists. Sitting and listening to the finalists being announced is nerve-wracking. 5th Place, 4th Place, 3rd place, 2nd place. Mr. Fox leaned over to Ethan Chung and said, “We’ve either placed 6th through 10th, or our band just won the state championship!” Then the announcement: “Your 2018 3A State Championship band is Westside Christian High School!”
Shock, elation, and a sense of achievement combined to create a surreal moment as the band slowly made its way to the stage to receive the state championship trophy. Moms, dads, and grandparents were yelling, applauding, and crying happy tears as the band formed on stage for a picture with the trophy to the cheers of all in attendance. After the pictures were taken, our band broke into applause toward the entire assembled audience filled with other schools’ bands and their supporters as a gesture of appreciation. After more pictures outside with the championship trophy, the band and many family members shared a meal together and gave thanks for an unbelievable and historic day. The band scored 86, 87 and 91 from the three performance judges.
The little band that could!
The Westside Christian High School Concert Band is entering it’s second year of existence and has already nearly doubled in size. Band members are currently working on a mix of fall and Christmas music, as well as exercises promoting a well balanced and precise instrumental ensemble.
Students in these pictures are playing Jazzy Holidays, an upbeat medley of Christmas tunes arranged in a jazz style. This chart will be featured at the Christmas Concert on Monday, December 11th, in the Westside Christian High School Gymnasium. Mark your calendars and plan to attend!
Westside’s state champion choir was just one of the showcased selections at the Spring Choir Concert this week. All in attendance were treated with a variety of performances over the course of the evening. What a year (yet again!) for the voices in the Westside choir. Also performing during the evening was Westside’s new band. What talented musicians walk these halls here at Westside!
The Westside Concert Band had a great debut at its first District Competition last week. Westside’s brand new Concert Band played at the state-qualifying festival at Clatskanie High School on Wednesday, April 12th. The band played very well, with scores of 66, 66, and 76, and thoroughly impressed their judges. A few judge comments: “You are of the most musical groups of the the day. Well done! What a fantastic group! I enjoyed every second of your performance. Wow!” “Bravo!” “Absolutely a great start! (knowing we’re a first year band). Really enjoyed your playing. Hope you are proud of yourselves!”
Mr. Fox and the boys are excited! Already, the band is close to qualifying for the state championships, in its very first year!
Consider taking band next year and helping us become an even better and stronger program!
Westside’s new band program played as a Pep Band at last Friday’s varsity boys basketball game. Adding to the already great atmosphere of Westside’s basketball games, the pep band will play at select home games for the rest of the season.
Congratulations to Mia Cywinski, Senior, and to Ethan Chung, Freshman, who were both selected for inclusion in the Oregon All-State Choir and Band, respectively. Mia was selected as a Soprano, and Ethan was selected in Trumpet through auditions they recorded in September.
The All-State Choir, Band and Orchestra weekend is January 12-15 and is the same conference that Westside’s Concert Choir will be featured at in a Guest Performance! Our three music department goals: Glorify God, Show the Love of Christ to Others, and Sing/Play with Excellence.
Under the direction of our Music Teacher, Will Fox, Westside is beginning a new musical tradition this Fall, Concert Band. In addition to the state championship choral and vocal program, the excellent IGNITE worship team, and Westside’s popular Drumline, soon trumpets, saxophones, flutes, clarinets, trombones, percussion instruments and tubas will be heard at our school in the formation of Westside’s new Concert Band program.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Fox arranged for the purchase of a tuba for the school. Ironically, coincidentally, or through God’s humor to reminder that from Him all good things flow, it just so happens that the brand name of the tuba is “Blessing.” What an appropriate name as Westside begins an instrumental program that will involve students in a fun, expressive, musical experience among Christian friends and will bring a “blessing” of music to our school and community!
If you have or know of instruments not being used, would you consider donating them to the Band program at Westside? Also, if you’re an instrumentalist with chops and have interest in assisting our students occasionally in sectionals or in technique sessions, I’d love to hear from you. Contact Mr. Will Fox, email@example.com.