By: Rose Lu and Victor Xie

On Feb. 27, both String and Symphony Orchestra participated in the annual District Festival, an event where all orchestra groups in ESUHSD (East Side Union High School District) perform for two adjudicators to be critiqued. Shortly after, on March 1, the Music Department hosted Rise from the Ashes, a benefit show dedicated to Paradise High School, which took place in the L-Building.

The orchestra performed at the District Festival because it was a great performance opportunity.

“The district didn’t have a festival for a number of years due to budget cuts. It’s good to have the festival in between so we can perform some music and go on to new music,” explained Orchestra Director Emily Ray.

All proceeds from the benefit show will be going directly to Paradise High School. Paradise High School lost many pieces of equipment, sheet music and instruments in the recent fires.

“The Music Dept.’s goals in hosting this concert include helping Paradise High replenish some of the musical resources they lost in the fire. We just want to help them recover,” said Choir Council President Lilly Liu.

This year, the District Festival was held in the auditorium at Evergreen Valley High School. The two adjudicators who commented on the performances both have a previous relationship with the Lynbrook High School music program, one of the best music programs in California.

“I think it’s good to have someone comment on your performance because being on stage and being in the audience are two very different experiences,” explained junior Nicole Chen.

The Music Dept. had been anticipating the performance at the benefit show.

“Concerts are always fun because we finally get to perform and share the pieces we’ve been practicing for so long. This concert is special because it’s directly benefiting Paradise High School,” shared tuba player Charles Ding.

Unlike the upcoming CMEA (California Music Education Association) festival, the adjudicators did not give scores, but only commented on how each group could improve on their performed pieces.
“(The festival) got us used to performing on a stage which is a lot different than the G-Building,” said String Orchestra Concertmaster Kaitlyn Chou.

Rise from the Ashes was able to raise over $2700 for Paradise High School’s music program. Both Instrumental and Choir Council hope this benefit concert will become a recurring event.

“We did a benefit concert last year and it was successful, so we decided to do another one, since we believe that we will have a positive impact on these families from the Southern California wildfires,” commented Concession Manager Huy Tran.
Both performances have helped all the music groups grow as musicians and practice for their upcoming concert in May.

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