The last note of the year: VHS Music performs 2018-2019’s final concert

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Sarah Clench

Ventura High School’s Wind Ensemble Honors and Symphonic Orchestra held their last concert of the year on May 23 at 7 p.m. in the Ventura High School auditorium.

Wind Ensemble Honors performed for the first half of the show, with pieces by Schwantner, Sparke, Nelson and Marquez.

Senior Kirk Mellring, who has been playing the tuba for 5 years explained, “I liked ‘Weekend in New York’ because it’s kind of a jazzy piece.” Adding on, he said, “I really liked the first piece, ‘In Evening’s Stillness’ by Schwantner. It’s really cool, the piano. It’s supposed to be like a ship sailing.” Senior Tanya Turchyn took on the solo piano part in “In Evening’s Stillness” during the concert.

When asked if he had any difficulties, Mellring explained, “Just the timing is really difficult in Schwantner because Mr. Hunt has to conduct two different time signatures so it’s hard to stay on track with the brass doing different stuff [from the woodwinds].”

After intermission, the Symphonic Orchestra played “Sinfonia No. 10 for String Orchestra” by Mendelssohn and after, accompanied featured senior soloists for the rest of the concert.

The first soloist was senior Elizabeth Callahan on the violin, who played “Allegro from Violin Concerto No. 1” by Bruch, followed by Bridget Boland on the viola playing “Pas De Deux from Gisselle” by Adam. Senior Christine Martin played “Adagio from Flute Concerto No. 2” by Devienne on the flute, and french horn player Jonathan Van Hyning played “Horn Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major,” movements I and III, by Strauss.

Martin, flute soloist, commented on why she chose the piece she played for her concerto: “I thought the part that the strings played behind me was really interesting and I thought that the flute part was really pretty.”

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Regarding how the band played, she stated, “I think we did really well, I’m really sad that it’s our last concert. We definitely played well for the amount of preparation that we had and I’m just really proud of all of us.” Martin explained that she wants to join an ensemble in college to continue playing.

Finishing up the night, there was a surprise performance by seniors Naiya Larimer, tenor saxophone player, and Malia Matthews, alto saxophone player. They did a concerto piece called “Ladies Choice” by Paul Taylor.

Larimer, who has been playing the tenor saxophone since seventh grade, commented, “My favorite part was standing with the band one last time and realizing that I’ll never get to do this again, so it was a bitter-sweet moment.”

Senior soloist Van Hyning added that when he heard Larimer and Matthews playing, he “kicked through the doors and started dancing alone.”

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