Audience members were treated to a night of wonderful music as student musicians from MVSD and the El Monte Union High School District (EMUHSD) combined their talents for the annual Combined Band Concert at Mt. View High School. With instruments in hand, the 400 plus sixth through twelfth grade band students filled the gymnasium floor and played to a standing room only crowd.
Held annually, the Combined Band Concert’s purpose is to show the student musicians, as well as parents and audience members, the sequential growth of the students’ skills as they progress through the school music programs.
“It’s always great to be here and perform in this concert,” said Aldo, a tenor saxophone player in the Kranz Cougar Band. “This is my third time playing in the combined concert and my favorite part is hearing the high school bands, they are really good,” he said.
Starting off the concert were MVSD’s sixth grade beginning band students, 220 strong, under the direction of band teachers, Nancy Atilano and Jim Bynum. Representing Cogswell, Maxson, Miramonte, Monte Vista, Parkview, Payne, and Twin Lakes Schools the beginning band members performed Big Rock Candy Mountain and Gibraltar. MVSD’s seventh and eighth grade advanced band members from the award winning bands from Kranz Intermediate and Madrid Middle Schools played Fireburst Fanfare and Fiero. The high school bands completed the second half of the concert and featured South El Monte High School’s band performing a beautiful medley of Disney movie songs, led by band director David Morales, El Monte High School’s band, led by band director Juan Quintero, playing Anthem for Winds and Percussion and The Red Baron, and concluded with Mountain View High School’s band playing Invicta and Sol y Sombra under the direction of band director James Fraracci,
Audience members were impressed with the students’ excellent musicianship and skills.
“All the bands sounded great,” said Maria, a proud sister in attendance. “The beginning band did wonderful and it was impressive to hear the how the students get better and are able to play more difficult music as they continue through the band programs in middle school and high school.”
According to Atilano, both school districts recognize the importance of the performing arts in the educational program, and the significant impact involvement in instrumental music has on student success.
“The rewards of learning an instrument are great and help students to develop not only intellectually but creatively, socially and emotionally as well,” said Atilano. “Research shows that students involved in the arts score higher on tests and are more successful in school. We strongly encourage all the students to stay in the band program throughout high school and even on into college.”
Music is an essential part of the entire school and academic experience and both Mountain View School District and the El Monte Union High School District are committed to continuing to support and expand the instrumental music programs for the students.
“Each of the bands here tonight continuously represent their schools and the community greatly at a variety of events throughout the year,” said Sean Grycel, Kranz Intermediate School principal. “It is so impressive to see and hear the talent of the students and the dedication of the band directors. Thank you for providing such a beautiful night of music.”