WARREN, NJ - The audience of parents, relatives, guests, teachers and fellow students rewarded the Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) Symphonic Band and WHRHS Wind Ensemble with extended ovations, following performances at the 2019 Spring Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble Concert, Friday night, May 31, in the school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The Symphonic Band featured 66 student musicians, including 8 seniors, and the Wind Ensemble featured 42 student musicians, including 18 seniors.

Honors Won By Students

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Band Director and Instrumental Music Teacher Paul McCullen reported that the Instrumental music students this year won several prestigious awards and honors.

The Symphonic Band received a Silver rating at the CJMEA (Central Jersey Music Educators Association) Band Festival. The Wind Ensemble received a Gold rating at the CJMEA Band Festival, McCullen said.

Accepted into the CJMEA Region II Ensembles (including Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Jazz Band) earlier in this 2018-2019 School Year: Jeremy Cui, Katie Tan, Alan Wang, Daniel Zeng, Daniel Zhang, James Narayanan, Matthew Schaefer, Ryan Branco, Ben Watkins, Shiv Goel, Cristina Sarrico, and Andrew Muller.

Accepted into the NJMEA All-State Ensembles for the 2018-2019 School Year are: Katie Tan, Daniel Zeng, James Narayanan, Matthew Schaeffer, Cristina Sarrico, and Andrew Muller.

Toward the end of the concert, McCullen addressed the audience, thanking parents and his music students for their dedication and hard work this year, , and congratulating their high achievement.

“This has been a fabulous year,” he said. “There have been examples of exceptional levels of playing, sometimes at a collegiate level. In particular, our seniors have distinguished themselves. I want to thank them for their dedication to the program. I will miss them.”

McCullen added that the student musicians have been busy this year, not just in the big annual Winter and Spring concerts, but also in interscholastic music competitions, and in special performances in the community.

Welcoming The Audience

As the audience filed into the PAC from the school’s front lobby, several members of the two bands entertained parents and guests with several light arrangements. 

A Trumpet Quartet, featuring Matthew Shaeffer and Miah Manning, both of the Wind Ensemble, Kathryn Sellinger of the Symphonic Band, and Elliot DeGuilo of the Wind Ensemble, played the band, Queen’s, triumphant masterpiece, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Also performing a solo piece on Flute was Maylin Zhu of the Wind Ensemble. And performing a duet on Saxophone were Vijay Subramanian, and TJ Horvath, both of the Wind Ensemble. In the concert, Subramanian switched to playing Bass Clarinet.

The Concert Program: 

The Symphonic Band performed during the first half of the concert, playing four selections:

Suite from “The Planets: I. Mars; II. Venus; and III. Jupiter,” by Gustav Holst (1874-1934), composed between 1914-1916;

Suite from “Hamilton,” the Broadway Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda (1980-present), which premiered in New York January 2015;

“Second American Folk Rhapsody, by Clare Grundman (1913-1996). 

And, “At the Movies – The Classics,” arrangement by John Williams (1932–present). The medley included music from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” directed by Stanley Kubrick, (1928-1999), released in April 1968, featuring the tympani-rich, “Thus Sprach Zarathustra (1896); the theme to “Peter Gunn,”(1959); music from the musical film, “Singing In The Rain,” (1952); theiconic musical theme to the Cowboy Western, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” (1966); and music from musical film, “The Wizard of Oz,” (1939). These musical movie selections were synced with the jumbo-trom screen above the stage showing scenes from these movies. 

The Wind Ensemble performed during the second half of the concert, playing six selections:

“Mother Earth,” by David Maslanka (1943-2017), composed in 2003.

“Irish Tune from County Derry by Percy Grainger (1882-1961). The publishing rights to this composition dates back to 1918. The iconic Irish ballad, “Danny Boy,” draws its melody from this composition.

Lassus Trombone by H. Fillimore (1881-1956), composed in 1915, featuring a trombone lead, performed standing the entire composition, by Trombone musicians Omar Lateef, Cristina Sarrico, and Emily Thompson.

“Lincolnshire Posy, Movements I, II, V, VI, by Percy Grainger, composed in 1937;

“Bond…James Bond,” arranged by Stephen Bulla (1953-present). This composition was a medley of the most memorable musical themes from the various James Bond films, including: The overall Bond theme; and theme song melodies from, “Goldfinger,”(1964, sung by Shirley Bassy); “The Spy Who Loved Me,” (1977, sung by Carly Simon); and “Live and Let Die,” (1973, sung and written by Paul and Linda McCartney).

And, “Stars and Stripes Forever,” (1896), by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932). This composition features a final musical verse – of the song and of the concert -- a Piccolo lead. That was performed with dramatic musical precision by student musician and Ishika Agrawal.

The Student Musicians

The student musicians who performed at the concert are as follows (Seniors are so identified by the asterisks after their names):

Symphonic Concert Band: Flute, Priscilla Aguiar*, Jasmine Aiello, Catherine Baker,  Sarah Branco, Tina Chen, Erika Cheng, Susan Choy*, Deekshita Gorrepati, Jenna Hansen, Roopa Irakam, Stephanie Ju, Abigail Kotar, Chelsea Kramer, Tien Nguyen*, and Jacqueline Toscano*; Oboe, Erica Hwang and Kaitlyn Roth; Clarinet, Adithi Adusumilli, Katherine Buser*, Max Dublirer, Ariana Gilligan, Daniel Han, Sarah Jardim, Nicoletta Koconis, Calvin Khiddee-Wu, Tarun Loganathan, Hannah Miller, Jeremy Shamai, Mayur Sharma, Arjun Singh, Daniel Zhang, and Helen Zheng; Bass Clarinet, Achyuta Murli and Paul Zatorski; and Horn, Gavin Chiu, Shiv Goel, and Leah Lavender;

Alto Sax, Seth Calindas, Conner Cheng, Aditya Loganathan*, and Alexander Martino; Tenor Sax, Kyle Merritts and Genevieve Rust; Baritone Sax, John Schmitt; Trumpet, Andrew Cuonzo, James Lavender*, Lauren McAvoy, Elizabeth Russo*, Kathryn Sellinger, Matthew Strona, Leo Yan, and Kevin Zu; Trombone, Thomas Barca, Ryan Britten, Martina Lavender, and Nicole LoCascio; Euphonium, Emma Kotar and Surya Rai; Tuba, Jack Remington and Andrew Soliman; and Percussion, Alexander Azarian, Marc Bruno, Brennan Hector, Christopher Larsen, George Leunes and Michael Motta.

Wind Ensemble: Oboe, Jeremy Cui*; Bassoon, Elizabeth Baker* and Dania Elsheikh*; Piccolo, Ishika Agrawal; Flute: Deepa Irakam, Yvonne Tang*, Jessica Yan*, and Maylin Zhu; Clarinet, John Kolibachuk*, Jeremy Shamai, Katie Tan, Alan Wang, June Yin, Daniel Zeng, and Daniel Zhang; Bass Clarinet, Vijay Subramanian; Alto Sax, Timothe Iroudayassamy*, Brandon Tang*, and Maya Zhang; Tenor Sax, T.J. Horvath*; and Baritone Sax, James Narayanan;

Also, Horn, Hannah Balla*, Taylor Hestvik*, Hannah Marszalek, and Benjamin Watkins; Trumpet, Ryan Branco*, Elliot DeGuilo*, Miah Manning, and Matthew Schaefer; Trombone, Omar Lateef, Cristina Sarrico, and Emily Thompson;Euphonium, Matthew Mandelbaum* and Andrew Muller*; Tuba, Benjamin DeGuilo; Percussion, Shoili Banerjee*, Eric Paterson, John Santucci, Maxwell Schwartz, Natalia Sosniak*, Katie Tam, and Alexander Tortoriello.

 

 

WHRHS CAPTIONS 2019 Spring Symphonic Band And Wind Ensemble Concert

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Wind Ensemble Takes Applause 

The audience of parents, relatives, guests, teachers and fellow students rewarded the Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) Symphonic Band and WHRHS Wind Ensemble with extended ovations following performances at the 2019 Spring Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble Concert, Friday night, May 31, in the school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC). 

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Symphonic Band Last Rehearsal

The WHRHS Symphonic Band fills the Performing Arts Center (PAC) stage warming up and taking last rehearsals before the audience arrived for the annual Spring Symphonic and Wind Ensemble Concert on Friday night, May 31. The band entertained with four selections, each with multiple movements or medleys. The selections demonstrated the student musicians’ repertoire, entertaining with a broad cross-section of music from the world of Classical music, to Broadway musicals, the Great American Songbook and classic movie themes.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS McCullen Conducting 

Band Director, Instrumental Music Teacher and Conductor Paul McCullen reported that the Instrumental music students this year won several prestigious awards and honors. “This has been a fabulous year,” he said. “There have been examples ofexceptional levels of playing, sometimes at a collegiate level. In particular, our seniors have distinguished themselves. I want to thank them for their dedication to the program. I will miss them.”

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Trumpets 

Several members of the WHRHS Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble played various pieces to whet the appetite of the audience as they filed into the Performing Arts Center (PAC) from the school’s front lobby. The annual Spring Instrumental Concert was held on Friday, May 31. Among them were thisquartet of student musicians presented a Trumpet rendition ofQueen’s triumphant masterpiece, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Playing trumpet were, from left: Matthew Schaeffer and Miah Manning, both of the Wind Ensemble; Kathryn Sellinger of the Symphonic Band; and Elliot DeGuilo of the Wind Ensemble

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Flute

Student musician Maylin Zhu of the Wind Ensemble played Flute in the Performing Arts Center lobby before the Spring Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble Concert.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Sax Duo

The Sax Duo from the Wind Ensemble, Vijay Subramanian on Alto Sax, left, and T.J. Horvath on Tenor Sax, right, entertained audience members as they entered the WHRHS Performing Arts Center for the Spring Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble Concert.