CMEA Band

 

By Katie Tran

 

On May 7, Concert Band and Wind Ensemble attended CMEA (California Music Education Association) at Graham Middle School from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wind Ensemble earned a Unanimous Superior rating while Concert Band earned an overall rating of Superior.

CMEA is a festival where music groups from a variety of schools attend to perform for and receive feedback from professional adjudicators. They are graded on aspects of performing and the event is a measure to see the proficiency of a band.

Wind Ensemble played three movements, which they have been practicing very hard on since as far back as November. They also practiced for the sight reading section. Wind Ensemble had not received Unanimous Superior since 2015 so this was a great accomplishment.

“These past two years have been kinda rough on band, so I’m hopeful that we will make a comeback with that unanimous superior this year,” expressed piccolo player Maggie Nguyen.

This was Concert Band’s first time attending CMEA because they are all freshmen. As this was their first year, they put a lot of work into preparing for this performance.

Despite a few small errors throughout their performance and a big obstacle, Wind Ensemble still received the highest rating possible at CMEA.

“One glaring hardship that the group encountered was that one of our percussionists had gotten food poisoning the day of the performance, so we were missing a vital musician,” said Maggie.

There are different ratings for each tier for a score out of 100: 90-100 is superior, 80-90 is excellent and so on. Last year they got a mix of excellent and superior.

“Our goal for next year is to get unanimous superiors again,” said trumpet player Aaron Lee.

Other schools that performed include Evergreen High School and Independence High School. There were four professional adjudicators for the festival overall, three for the performance with prepared songs and one for the sight-reading portion. They usually change every year. CMEA is also for choral groups and orchestral groups but each group attends on different dates.

Band’s hard work paid off in the end as they achieved their goal and surpassed their previous scores by receiving unanimous superior for the first time in four years.

 

Guidance Office doors vandalized during Spring Break

By Victor Xie

Administration believes that three individuals committed serious acts of vandalism on early on April 27, which was the Saturday at the end of Spring Break.

These individuals cemented the set of doors leading into the Guidance Office shut and plastered them with offensive words. With the quick work of the custodian and district office maintenance team, the doors were cleared in several hours.

“I feel that the individuals are probably angry, and I felt that they disrespected our school. I don’t know what message they were trying to get across, but I don’t think that it’s the Pirate Way of trying to get any message across,” commented Assoc. Principal Honey Gubuan.

The administration offered a monetary reward of up to $1000 for anyone who could provide valuable information on the individuals who caused the vandalism.

“I think there’s a general culture among young people that encourages such displays of disrespect to authority, but this is vandalism without a clear message and vandalism for the sake of vandalism,” said senior Emily Liu.

According to the California Penal Code Section 594, if the damage costs are over $400, the individual could serve up to a year in a county jail or be given a fine of up to $10,000. If the damage costs are under $400, the individual could serve up to a year in a county jail or be given a fine of up to $1,000.

The fines for the repair of the door were confidential, but are estimated to be quite high.

“I hope these students realize that the money put into fixing the vandalism is taken out of money that could be used for other materials,” said English teacher Peggy Lee.

At the time of this issue’s distribution, no individual has been publicly caught or announced to be the culprit in this ongoing investigation.

Art season is back

By Janelle Perez

 

The annual Downtown Doors competition brought artwork from San Jose high schools to the streets of downtown and presented the students’ awards on May 9th at the San Jose Museum of Art.

The annual Piedmont Hills Art Faire was also held this week outside of the art buildings and showcased art made by students throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Downtown Doors is way for students from San Jose high schools to publicly display their artwork. This year’s 16th annual competition included over 200 submissions from over 20 schools. Selections vary from ten to thirteen pieces, which are then transferred onto a big poster to be displayed on a door downtown.

The art faire included pieces from students in digital photography, sculpture and drawing and painting.

“I think the art show is great because it shows how hard we (students) have worked throughout the year to create these pieces,” said senior Nicole Ortiz.

This year two Piedmont Hills seniors, Diego Papa and Abigail Tecson won a spot on a door downtown. Downtown Doors winners were presented the awards to commemorate their talent.

The annual art faire included detailed sculptures and paintings as well as variety of printed photos, while Downtown Doors only showcased the works of few students.

“I really wanted to do a piece with bold colors and I took ideas from both desert martian landscapes. I’m proud that people thought it was worthy of a spot downtown,” said Diego.

Abigail submitted a double exposure piece from her digital photography class, which includes architecture from Paris.

“At first the idea of blending the architecture came from when I was going through Pinterest,” said Abigail.

The Piedmont Hills Art Faire submissions were chosen by the students themselves, which consisted of their best piece from the school year.

“I submitted my favorite photo that I took from this year and I’m really glad people are going to be able to see it and have a positive reaction to it,” said senior Kaitlyn Seawright.

Both Downtown Doors and the Piedmont Hills Art Faire will be held again next year and students will be able to admire the work of their peers and art students will be able to submit their work to be shown.

 

Juniors go to Prom at the Children’s Discovery Museum

By Justin Wang

The Class of 2020 gathered for Junior Prom at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, an outside venue chosen in an unprecedented move, on April 20.

“There was a great turnout at Junior Prom! We had around 170 attendees, including staff. In regards to choosing our location, all we knew was that we wanted to do something by choosing an outside venue,” said Class of 2020 Treasurer Melina Tran.

The choice of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose for the venue proved to be a successful one, in terms of the finances.

“Picking an outside venue was quite risky and something no other class has done before, but we ended up making a good amount of money for our class and Junior Prom was overall pretty successful,” said Melina.

Students were allowed to explore and use a photo booth, a water themed area and a Vietnamese-learning area.

“They had the photo booth upstairs, which had a long line the entire night, the water area, bubbles, and the Vietnamese learning areas were all open for us to explore and play around in,” said junior Joey Orzoff.

However, some felt that sticking to the L-Building would have been the better choice.

“I think that the location was a fun change of pace. However, I do believe that the L-Building would have been a more appropriate venue,” said Joey.

The DJ was met with mixed reactions. Some liked the DJ’s choices of music.

“Good DJ too. The DJ was fun… they played a lot of classic songs, lot of good party songs,” said junior Ryan Norton.

However, some felt that the choices in music was unfitting for Junior Prom.

“The DJ would occasionally play songs that nobody would dance to, and the dance floor would clear out. The music was not slow for a lot of the prom, in total there were about two songs that were meant for slow dancing, and they were both quickly overshadowed by bass boosted rap and hip hop,” said Joey.

Even those who raised complaints enjoyed the night overall and were happy with their experience.

“All in all, Junior Prom was still a blast, despite any setbacks and the odd choice of venue, and I’d recommend that all PHHS students go to their proms,” said Joey.

Whether the Class of 2021 is also going to choose an outside venue for Junior Prom is yet to be seen.

“It really depends on the 2021 officers and what they think. When people found about our venue, most people were very surprised, including staff,” said Melina.

Class of 1988 Reunion

By Sarah Shafaeen

The PHHS Class of 1988 are having their 30-ish year reunion this Saturday at the Casino M8trix at 6 p.m.

The three co-organizers worked tirelessly to bring the reunion together and make sure that as many people as possible will attend and have a good time.

“There is a group of three of us who organized the reunion: myself, Dayna (Stein) Pawlowski and Diane (Bettencourt) Smith. We knew each other in H.S., but didn’t hang out. Diane was on the organizing committee for our ten-year reunion and Dayna, the 20th, so I thought they would be game for helping with another one,” says head organizer Anna Heckman.

The 30-ish year reunion is actually the 31st year reunion because the organizers were unable to properly organize the 30th year reunion in time.

“We tried (late) last year to get it off the ground, but it didn’t pan out, so this is our 30-ish year reunion. I was on the committee for the 30th year as well,” says co-organizer Dayna Stein Pawlowski.

The Class of ‘88 hoped to meet up with old classmates and reminisce about their time together at PHHS.

“I’m looking forward to looking back, seeing everyone, dancing to ‘80’s music and having fun catching up!” exclaims Anna.

When reflecting back on the environment at PHHS, Class of ‘88 recalled a very positive experience.

“PHHS was a great time for me. I loved high school! Hung out in the auto shop for a time, was tight with the drama crew. Really, I tried to get to know people in all the little groups,” mentions Dayna.

Many remember the overall inclusiveness of the student body at the time along with the general kindness everyone treated each other with.

“I loved Piedmont and had a great experience. Everyone was very friendly and respectful. I suppose there were cliques, but it didn’t really feel like it because everyone seemed to be friendly with one another, regardless of what particular group you might identify with. I thought it was just a really special place. I was pretty shy when I started there and really came to be much more social through the years. I really felt accepted there,” states Anna.

The class remembered their favorite memories from high school.

“FANTASTICS and Spirit week are really good memories. And Drama Class was pretty special to me,” concludes Anna.

Art season is back

By Janelle Perez

The annual Downtown Doors competition brought artwork from San Jose high schools to the streets of downtown and presented the students’ awards on May 9th at the San Jose Museum of Art.

The annual Piedmont Hills Art Faire was also held this week outside of the art buildings and showcased art made by students throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Downtown Doors is way for students from San Jose high schools to publicly display their artwork. This year’s 16th annual competition included over 200 submissions from over 20 schools. Selections vary from ten to thirteen pieces, which are then transferred onto a big poster to be displayed on a door downtown.

The art faire included pieces from students in digital photography, sculpture and drawing and painting.

“I think the art show is great because it shows how hard we (students) have worked throughout the year to create these pieces,” said senior Nicole Ortiz.

This year two Piedmont Hills seniors, Diego Papa and Abigail Tecson won a spot on a door downtown. Downtown Doors winners were presented the awards to commemorate their talent.

The annual art faire included detailed sculptures and paintings as well as variety of printed photos, while Downtown Doors only showcased the works of few students.

“I really wanted to do a piece with bold colors and I took ideas from both desert martian landscapes. I’m proud that people thought it was worthy of a spot downtown,” said Diego.

Abigail submitted a double exposure piece from her digital photography class, which includes architecture from Paris.

“At first the idea of blending the architecture came from when I was going through Pinterest,” said Abigail.

The Piedmont Hills Art Faire submissions were chosen by the students themselves, which consisted of their best piece from the school year.

“I submitted my favorite photo that I took from this year and I’m really glad people are going to be able to see it and have a positive reaction to it,” said senior Kaitlyn Seawright.

Both Downtown Doors and the Piedmont Hills Art Faire will be held again next year and students will be able to admire the work of their peers and art students will be able to submit their work to be shown.

Boys Tennis team ready to serve

Rex Ly

The JV Boys Tennis team hit off their new season with a 8-2 victory against Oak Grove High School. This season in the team has 18 players ready to represent Piedmont Hills and make it to CCS (Central Coast Section).

“I take it pretty seriously. I try and stay committed, be the first on and the last one off,” stated Doubles player Dylan Emery.

PHHS has been on a winning streak. With their most recent wins, they are working towards getting to the league games and reaching CCS. Throughout the season almost all the games have been close calls.

“I would have to say our biggest rival has to be Independence,” stated JV Captain Alan Nguyen.

Our next game against Independence will be next Fri., right before break.

“I keep everyone in check, organize practice and fill out team finances,” stated Nguyen. The JV Boys tennis team practices every day after to learn the game for new members they always practice at the school at the tennis court from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“(The best advice I can give to new players is to) train consistently. You can’t take breaks from tennis and expect to be at the same play level when you come back,” said Singles player Guneet Sachdeva.

Like in any sport everyone starts off fresh and their biggest challenge is to improve in their skills in tennis.

Everyone has room for improvement on the team.

“My weakness is that I play aggressive and sometimes not that consistent. We are all getting better as the season goes on,” states tennis player Gavin Yu.

The newer members who participate are still determined to show up to all practices and tries to meet every day in the season to get better for their next game.

“I urge everyone to join if they’re interested in dedicating to our tennis team,” stated Doubles player Jason Cheng.

The team encourages students to join the team as it is a good afterschool activity and experience.

“I enjoy playing tennis! I think it is a good sport, but it encourages you to run a lot which you would not expect from tennis because it is in a confined area.” shared Emery.

The boy’s tennis team is trying to train hard in order to secure a spot in CCS and to win the league games.

Interact and Business Minds/Multi-club Lunch with Special Ed Kids

By Sarah Shafaeen

 

Last Thursday, the PHHS Special Education students attended a luncheon in the PHHS library organized by ARK (Acts of Random Kindness), Interact and Business Minds.

The event is highly anticipated by the Special Education students and ARK members because it is an opportunity to get to know each other.

“The luncheon is very nice because it is an opportunity to mingle and have our kids interact with the general education kids,” said Nonglak Prasopsook, Special Education teacher.

It is difficult to organize an event this big, so ARK usually teams up with other clubs and tries to choose easy themes. This year they decided to hold a Hawaiian-themed pizza party luncheon because it’s a cute tropical theme and pizza is easy for the members to prepare and work with.

“ARK came up with this idea about 3 years ago, when we collaborated with Bloomers Club. ARK has been organizing this event ever since 2016, but we did not hold the event last year because of conflicting schedules. Business Minds reached out to Interact and ARK who typically organizes this event every year. This is ARK’s first year collaborating with Interact and Business Minds for this event,” informs ARK President and Interact YouthAct Coordinator Janeene Yeh.

The ARK students worked hard to host the luncheon and were rewarded by the joy it brought all of the students.

“Our main message in ARK is to spread kindness and positivity to high school students and staff. A big part of the student population is the Special Ed students so we thought this luncheon would be a great way to show our appreciation to them and let them know that they have a friend in us,” reveals ARK Historian Anamika Bisen.

With all the planning, preparing and execution of the luncheon ARK determines the success of the event based on the response they receive from the club members and students.

“Our club expectations are making sure that each of the 30 Special Ed students are paired up with an Interact or ARK member/officer and that we all have a good time together,” states Janeene.

The luncheon is something ARK wanted to make an annual event and has been working towards making that vision a reality.

“We definitely are trying to make this an annual thing. Last year, with work to rule we were unable to completely plan out the event so it was cancelled but this year we are back and ready to make this event a successful one!” exclaims Anamika.

Fantastics Classes preparing for the battle of the year

By Harleen Kaur

Classes preparing for the battle of the year

 

There seems to be only one thing that gets Piedmont Hills through the dreadful and long month of March: FANTASTICS season. This year, FANTASTICS will be held this Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Big Gym.

“FANTASTICS is a night rally where classes prepare teams for games, skits and show class spirit to compete for points to win the trophy,” says 2022 President Jacob Dinh.

One change this year is the guest policy at FANTASTICS. Many Piedmont Hills students invite other students from other high schools to come and help support the classes.

“Students this year have to sign a guest pass to attend FANTASTICS,” states Jacob.

The themes for each class this year are Class of 2022, Tangled; Class of 2021, Phineas and Ferb; Class of 2020, Jumanji; Class of 2019, High School Musical.

Ticket sales began last Monday and will continue until FANTASTICS Day. The prices include $5 for a ticket, $7 for a shirt, thunder sticks for $3 and $2 for bandannas. A shirt and ticket will be sold for $10.

All the classes have been preparing by holding practices for games and skits weekly.

“We practice games and activities for about an hour every day and skit for two hours,” explains 2021 Dedicated Pirate Ethan Nguyen.

Class of 2019 feels sentimental as this will be their last FANTASTICS.

“Since it is my last year, I am super sad. That is why I am participating in skit for the very last time. I want to make my last year memorable,” says 2019 Dedicated Pirate Koby Pham.

This is the most competitive event of the year as the winner gets bragging rights and spirit clout. Many mixed opinions were shared about who’s going to take the trophy this year.

“I think the juniors are going to win because they are the most spirited class,” said Jacob.

“We believe the seniors are going to win since they have been working hard to get results that will show,” said Ethan.

Many students are excited for the most anticipated school event of the year and can’t wait till FANTASTICS.

Murder Mystery

By Alana Valdez

On Feb. 15, NHS (National Honor Society) hosted an interactive murder mystery night to raise money for a charity. They collaborated with the Drama Department who put together the play for the event.

“Our goal was to raise funds towards (our chosen) charity. This year, it’s United World School, which works towards providing education for children in impoverished areas by building schools, training teachers and improving hygiene,” explained NHS Club President Madalyn Phan.

NHS sold tickets and dinner items to enjoy while watching the show to help raise the money.

The play itself took place in a restaurant called Oriental Express and was about “the murder of a businessman named Semore Twit who was killed during a snowstorm that trapped himself and others in the restaurant he owned. Everyone who was trapped in this restaurant was suspected of murdering Mr. Twit because each person had a grudge against him,” shared director Mason Sandoval.

After watching the play, the audience had a chance to vote on who they thought the murderer was to win a prize. The people who guessed correctly won a gift card.

The audience felt the play was great and thoroughly enjoyed the whole event.

“The Drama Department did phenomenal, as always! The performers were very engaging and entertaining. I enjoyed the show a lot and know the audience did as well,” praised Madalyn.

The audience weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the show, as the Drama Department enjoyed putting it on as well.

“The play was pretty fun to put on and went beyond expectations. It really makes me happy to see that students who don’t always get their time in the spotlight got their chance with this event to show what they’re made of,” said Mason.

However, there were some problems that the cast ran into while putting together the show.

“Actors had trouble remembering their lines and didn’t put as much effort in as they should have. We had problems with our volume when reciting our lines so I was a little worried that during our show our audience would not be able to hear what we were saying,” expressed actor Joey Orzoff.

There were also some problems that NHS faced in terms of organizing the overall event.

“We were very stressed when the food had arrived late, so drama students had to rush to eat and we didn’t have plates to serve the food,” said Madalyn.

In the end, everything worked out and the event was a success.