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The Student News Site of Willow Glen High School

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Music in the Glen

Every other month, 4 times during the school year, the school bands and choirs join together to perform a two hour concert. From the recent Almost-All Pops concert, musical groups played and sang pieces ranging from popular music such as “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles, all the way to “Tank!” from the hit anime Cowboy Bebop. The concerts are exams for band and choir students. They are an assessment of the music they have been working on for the past few months in class. 

Joining a music class is not the only way to perform at the concerts, however. Amongst the various class groups that perform during the concerts are student-run groups and various solo acts. The Chamber Choir Club, run by student conductor Natalie Faris, practices and operates completely independently of the music director, Mr. Zawilski. They are always a treat to hear during the concerts, singing a wide variety of songs from movies and other popular media. Many soloists show off their skills to a crowd of over 1000 people performing their favorite songs, as well.

Performing music from pop culture is not a new development. In fact, many can attribute their initial interest in music to movies or video games. When the piece “Minecraft”, which contained a medley of songs from the video game of the same name, was handed to the Wind Ensemble, many of the students’ eyes lit up as they played the music and recognized all the motifs from the game of the same title. Many students take joy in mixing traditional concert band music with modern music. This leads to even synthesized music being arranged for concert bands or orchestras.

Sadly, the music program at WGHS has taken a big hit in the past few years. After COVID, many students dropped out of the music program, leaving only a fraction of the pre-COVID numbers behind to fill in their gaps. This year, there are less than 80 or so students in a music class at school. Due to lack of sign-ups and scheduling issues, classes like Beginning Choir and AP Music Theory, and programs such as Marching Band, once lively here at Willow Glen, are nowhere to be seen today.

If you are interested in music, you should join the band or choir! We desperately need new members every year to keep music alive at Willow Glen High School. Break out that clarinet that’s been collecting dust in the closet, or borrow a school instrument over the summer to practice. The people you’ll meet in music class may end up being some of your closest companions. “I’ve made quite a few friends through class,” says Daria Cisper (‘25), choir student, “connections that will last throughout my life.” Both band and choir agree with this sentiment. Julian Van Dyne (‘26), bassist for the Jazz Band, says that band is “a great class to make friends in and to relax.” Overall, music classes and concerts are a great way for students to express themselves through music, as well as make lasting connections with peers. 

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Nate Labao
Nate Labao, Activities & Athletics Editor

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