DOWNEY – Warren High School held its fourth annual Downey Unified School District Band Spectacular last Saturday, drawing an overflow crowd to the gymnasium to hear nearly half a dozen school bands. The event invited instrumental ensembles from across the district to perform in front of parents, community members and fellow band members. Bands from Warren High, and Doty, Griffiths, Sussman and Stauffer middle schools participated.
Also integrated into the DUSD Band Spectacular, were opportunities for the students involved to experience constructive feedback and hands-on instruction from local college teachers and professional musicians.
Each instrumental ensemble was allotted two 30-minute time slots to perform, followed by one-on-one time with notable music instructors and an active artist. These clinicians, or professionals, included associate professor of music at Cal State Fullerton, Dr. Mitchell Fennell, from Long Beach City College, Brian Hamilton, associate professor and director of bands and music, and Patrick Sheng, instructor of performing arts. Rounding out the list was Fabio Spinella, a professional trumpet player who has toured both the US and UK, performing alongside recognized jazz legends, gospel singers and pop artists.
“In the end, the clinicians had a great time working with our super talented DUSD band students,” said WHS band director David Niemeyer.
The Band Spectacular, originally started in 1993 by music teacher Guy Holliday, has developed from solely involving the WHS band to now becoming a district-wide event that involves multiple high school and middle school level bands.
Involved in this year’s Band Spectacular were Doty and Griffiths middle school’s advanced bands, Sussman Middle School’s advanced band and jazz ensembles, Stauffer Middle School’s beginning band, concert band, advanced band and two jazz ensembles, Downey High School’s concert band, and WHS’ wind ensemble, concert band, percussion ensemble, jazz I and II ensembles, and winter guard.
Published: March 5, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 47