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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!
Westside Christian High School’s Concert Choir won the OSAA 3A Choir State Championship on Thursday, May 3rd, at George Fox University. Under the direction of Will Fox, the Concert Choir engaged the audience and adjudicators with a program featuring six songs: Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal, Light Everlasting, Abendlied (Luke 4:29), Emerald Stream, Good Night, Dear Heart, and Nda Wana.
The adjudicators were very appreciative of the young choir’s intonation, beautiful tone, and commitment to excellence. The choir’s program was judged by four distinguished choral educators and conductors, including the choir’s sight reading ability, which was tested after their stage performance.
This is the twelfth consecutive OSAA 3A State Choir Championship for Westside Christian, the longest standing streak in the history of the State Choir Championships, which began in 1987. Bob Crews developed the fine choral tradition of excellence at Westside and won four state championships. Kristy Moore and Miriam Gibby each won a state championship in 2008 and in 2009. In 2010, Mr. Fox was hired and has carried on the tradition of strong musical arts, winning eight consecutive state championships in his eight years of teaching.
Mr. Fox says, “I inherited a fine tradition of choral music at Westside. While my first year was certainly a challenge in trying to develop my own program and winning over the students to my way of creating music, these last eight years have really been about the students! I’ve had the thrill of working with great young people who have trusted me to help them become engaged high school musicians. I’ve also had the great privilege of being the choir director for my own two children! I have the best job!”
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!
Rachael Hahn dominated the singles draw of the District Tournament this week, beating the entire field to be crowned Special District 1 District Champion. After a 1st round bye, earned by being the tournament’s overall # 2 seed, she convincingly beat Haley Ou from Tillamook 6-0,6-0. Then in round number three she took down an athlete from OES 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. The semifinals setup a match with # 3 seeded Mia Friedman from OES, where Rachael prevailed in straight sets over her long time friend and club playing partner.
In the District finals Rachael again played an OES foe, squaring off against the # 1 seed in the tournament Kate Keeney. Here Hahn again dispatched her in only two frames, winning 6-3, 6-3. Rachael won all three of her matches in straight sets, on her way to capturing her first ever District Tournament Championship. She will now await seeding for the State Tournament, where her eye will be on an even bigger crown.
Congratulations to Westside’s Rachael Hahn, Special District 1 Champ!
Westside’s Concert Choir captured its 11th consecutive OSAA Oregon State Choir Championship on Thursday, May 4th. The choir received 339 out of a possible 360 points. Amazing!
Hats off to a group of dedicated choir students and to Mr. Fox! You can see and celebrate with our state championship Concert Choir, the award-winning Soli Deo Gloria, and with our new Concert Band at our Spring Concert and Art Show on Monday, May 15th, 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!
Christian Hahn has been competing with the Lake Oswego Robotics FTC (First Tech Challenge) team this year. Recently, the team advanced from the Oregon State Championship to the West Super Regionals (US Championship), where they will be competing for the chance to be one of the twelve teams representing the U.S. in international competition.
What an honor it would be for Westside to have a representative at the World Championships!
Westside’s Soli Deo Gloria qualified for the Oregon State Small Ensemble Championships last weekend. Soli is embarking on a busy spring! The group performed at the Solo and Ensemble contest and received a 97/100 score and qualified for the Oregon State Small Ensemble Championships on Friday, April 28th, at Pacific University!
Soli will also be featured on the 71st Annual All Northwest Barbershop Quartet Contest Finals shows at 2:00pm and 7:00pm on Saturday, March 25th. For tickets visit: www.balladtownusa.com.
The Westside girls Track & Field team placed 8th (of 32) and our boys 9th (of 30) at the State Championship Meet this past weekend.
The girls were led by junior Emily Curtis’ win in the 800m and 2nd place finish in the 400m. Lilie de la Motte took 4th in the 100 hurdles. The 4×100 meter relay was 7th, while the 4×400 meter relay came out of the “slow” heat to run faster than all but 3 other teams. The 4×400 meter team clocked in 13 seconds faster than they had run at the District meet.
Spencer Hopkins placed 2nd overall for the boys with a 13’ 6.25” school record in the pole vault. Jonathan Palau took 5th in the 400m and 7th in the 800m. Jacob Bloomfeldt was 6th in the 200m and 7th in the 100m. Hunter Reed placed 9th in the discus and the boys 4×400 meter relay placed 2nd.
A great season for both our girls and guys Track & Field teams!
Alli Sloop defended her state title in English Hunt Seat for Oregon High School Equestrian Teams this past week. There were over 600 state qualifiers & horses participating in the State Championships in Redmond, Oregon. Alli also placed 10th in both working pairs and western horsemanship. Alli will be competing in the Pacific Northwest Invitational Championship (regionals for the top finishers for Washington & Oregon) June 19 in Moses Lake, Washington.