Winter 2013 Instrumental Update

February 4, 2013

Greetings to the Instrumental Families!

The second semester is upon us! That means that our students are selecting their classes for the 2013-14 school year. All students can access instrumental music classes at Acalanes.  Remember the following:
•    Concert Band is open to all 9th grade band students with the appropriate experience and skill-set (grade 9 only).
•    Symphonic Band is open for all students with the appropriate experience and skill-set (grades 10-12)
•    String Orchestra is open for all students with the appropriate experience and skill-set (grades 9-12).
•    Jazz Ensemble is by audition (incoming 9th graders are welcome to audition as well. Specific audition materials will be available after Spring Break (grades 9-12).
•    Symphonic Wind Ensemble is by audition. Specific audition materials will be available after Spring Break (grades 10-12).
•    If you are not sure about placement or qualifications, please contact Mr. Dea!

The Winter Instrumental Concert Series back in December featured the Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and String Orchestra. The Jazz Ensemble hosted jazz groups from Albany High School, El Cerrito High School, and Homestead High School. They all performed wonderfully to enthusiastic audiences in the Acalanes Theater. Thank you Mrs. Tejada and the wonderful parents who provided the great receptions each evening following the performances!

Congratulations to John Kirkland (clarinet) and Spenser Tejada (horn) for being selected to this year's California All-State Honor Band! They were the only two musicians selected from our entire school district! It's the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a high school musician in California. The 2013 All-State Honor Bands will convene in Fresno from February 21-24 with a culminating concert on Sunday February 24th. John and Spenser will represent Acalanes High School and the Lafayette community with pride and distinction! We’re proud of them!

Acalanes High School recently hosted the 23rd Annual Contra Costa County Honor Band in the Acalanes Theater. Congratulations again to Andrew Bertics, Chris Childers, Daniel Croak, Angela Falk, Peter Holmes, John Kirkland, Maya Marshall, Scotty McCormick, James Prinzi, Samantha Taketa, Spenser Tejada, Kyra Vanhoven, Michael Wang, and Jeff Wilde. Acalanes had the largest contingent of any school in the honor band! Great job by all!

Along with our terrific coaches, we continue to have wonderful guests and guest clinicians at Acalanes including Professor Robert Ponto from the University of Oregon, Robert Calonico from the University of California at Berkeley, Mike Galisatus from the College of San Mateo, Principal Horn of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra Kevin Rivard, and a musical presentation from the Chapman University Conservatory of Music. We look forward to more as the school year progresses.

We’re busy preparing for our Spring Instrumental Music activities. Please note the earlier performance start time of 7:00 pm for home concerts!
•    Saturday March 16th – The Santa Cruz Jazz Festival at Cabrillo College in Aptos
•    Monday March 18th and Tuesday March 19th – The Lafayette District Band Festival at Stanley
•    Thursday March 21st thru Sunday March 24th – Spring Instrumental Tour to Southern California
•    Friday April 26th – The CMEA Band & Orchestra Festival at San Ramon Valley High School (Symphonic Band, Orchestra, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble)
•    Saturday April 27th – The CMEA Band & Orchestra Festival at San Ramon Valley High School (Concert Band)
•    Saturday May 11th – Concert at the Reservoir with the Jazz Ensemble
•    Thursday May 16th – Spring Concert #1 with the Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. 7:00 pm
•    Wednesday May 22nd – Spring Concert #2 with the String Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. 7:00 pm
•    Friday May 31st – Jazz Café at Stanley

•    Music is a Science. It is exact, specific, and demands exact acoustics. A Conductor's score is a chart or graph, which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.
•    Music is Mathematical. Rhythmically, it is based on divisions of time into precise fractions, which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.
•    Music is a Foreign Language. Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French.  The notation is certainly not English but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. Music itself is the most complete and universal language.
•    Music is History. Music reflects the environment and time of its creation, including its national and racial sources.
•    Music is Physical Education. It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip cheek, and facial muscles, and extraordinary control of the back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.
•    Music Develops Insight and Demands Research. Organized, independent thought is required.
•    Music is all of these things, but most of all, Music Is Art. It allows a human being to take all these technical terms, facts, and techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling, emotion, call it what you will.

•    Not so you can major in music
•    Not so you can play or sing all your life
•    Not so you can relax
•    Not so you can have fun

BUT . . .
•    So you will be human
•    So you will recognize beauty
•    So you will be sensitive
•    So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
•    So you will have something to cling to
•    So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good - in short, more life. For of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live!


In closing, thank you to the Acalanes District and Site Administration for their continued steadfast support, to LPIE and APAB for their funding and generosity, and to Mrs. Lisa Holmes and the APAB Instrumental Music Committee for their tireless help and advocacy of our program. We’re certainly blessed to live in a community that values the performing arts in the school curriculum. Thank you Lafayette!

Acalanes Instrumental Music is “on the move”, and is alive, well, and flourishing at Acalanes High School. Enjoy the upcoming activities and performances!

Norm Dea
Director of Instrumental Music
Acalanes High School