Joy Chow, The Bull's Eye Assistant News Editor
March 27, 2013
Earlier this month, Diamond Bar High School’s Symphony Orchestra placed second at the National Orchestra Cup in New York.
Representing DBHS in a competition against ten of the best orchestras in the nation were 112 students from Symphony Orchestra and wind ensemble performing at Lincoln Center.
“Because we knew ahead of time how talented the group was, we felt very relaxed and comfortable going into it. It was exciting too because we knew it’d be a special performance,” band and orchestra director Steve Acciani commented.
The best 90 string players and 22 wind players performed numbers from “Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky. Seniors Josh Chen, Johnny Wang, and junior Ashley Xie also had solos in the performance number. After the performance, DB was recognized as the top string section and senior Johnny Wang, first-chair violinist, won top soloist for high string.
“I think the trip brought more unity to the group. All those rehearsals and practices really made us look out and be accountable for one another. Because everyone had to be in tip top shape for the performance, the violins were accountable for the winds and the winds were accountable for the cellos and so on,” senior orchestra president Erica Chae commented.
To prepare for the trip, students rehearsed every day during class as well as every Wednesday after school from 6 to 9 p.m. Professional musicians like Sey Ahn, a guest conductor from USC, worked with the students in preparation for the competition and was also the conductor for the performance at Lincoln Center.
“By setting a goal to be one of the best in the nation, all the students were drawn together. Watching them be able to prepare and work with outside professionals — basically, take care of each other while planning and executing the trip made it feel like something really special. Our goal was to make this trip the thing that students remember most about in high school and I think we accomplished that,” Acciani said.
During the four days in New York, from Feb. 28 to March 3, the DBHS performers also had the opportunity to roam around and explore the new environment. Many visited the Central Park or watched Broadway shows such as “Phantom of the Opera.”
Besides the rigorous practicing prior to the trip, students held outside concerts, gigs, and also found sponsors to raise funds so that every student could go.
Through all of its fundraising and various donations, orchestra was able to raise $25,000 in order to partially fund the trip.