Arts and Entertainment

Students are ‘superior’ musicians Students are ‘superior’ musicians

Saxophonist John Hu was accompanied by Dazzle Roland on piano at the recent Washington State High School Musical Competition held at Central Washington University. -
Saxophonist John Hu was accompanied by Dazzle Roland on piano at the recent Washington State High School Musical Competition held at Central Washington University.
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While the sounds of Holland Happening oompah bands drifted through Oak Harbor last week, a group of Oak Harbor High School musicians was playing the sweet sounds of success.

Playing Brahm’s Quartet No. 5, seniors Ben Olson on trumpet, Mark Ogren on trombone, Michael Bressler on baritone, and junior David Marshall on French horn received all superiors at both the state and regional competition this year.

Ogren said the piece has a technical difficulty that showcases the individual strength of the players, and yet allows them to display their blended abilities.

“Together we’ve grown a lot musically,” Olson said.

Olson, Ogren and Bressler have been together since they were freshmen. Marshall rotated in this year, filling the fourth position that has seen musicians coming and going due to relocation, compatibility and everything in between.

This capping state run is fulfilling for the group, but not out of the norm for the Oak Harbor High School music program, they say. Hundreds of combined years of solo, duet and ensemble competition experience has helped build a tradition for excellence within the program.

“It’s big to be going to state consistently,” Ogren said. “Not all schools can have this success.”

Oak Harbor sent 16 instrumental entries to the San Juan Music Education Association conference regional competition the last weekend of January. Of that, 11 earned superior ratings which is the highest possible, and the remaining received excellent, the second-best ranking.

Oak Harbor band students earning bids to the state competition held at Central Washington University April 26 were junior John Hu on alto sax accompanied by Dazzle Roland on piano; the brass quartet of Bressler, Ogren, Olson and Marshall; Olson with a solo piece; and Ogren with a duet.

State alternates were Madison Anne Shipley on saxophone and Larajean Lauzen on clarinet. On the choral side, mezzo soprano Kristin Ceresola and baritone Jordan Kingma also competed at state.

John Hu and Dazzle Roland paired for the second year, this latest turn at state earning them superior ratings from all three judges. Their competition piece, “Scaramouche” by Darius Milhaud, is a suite in three movements that Hu considers “energetic and playful.”

Olson’s solo piece, Concerto for Trumpet by Alexander Arutiunian, garnered him one superior and two excellent ratings.

“There’s a spice to it,” Olson said of the music. “It’s technical and melodic.”

Performing “Sonata for Trombone and Piano” by Eric Ewazen on trombone, Mark Ogren rated three superiors.

Most of the musicians have been participating in school bands since they were grade-schoolers. They’re serious about it. Passion is in no short supply.

Mike Bressler admits it’s an addiction.

For Ben Olson, it’s his sanity.

“When you sit down and play music it takes away from whatever bad day you might be having,” he said. “When you come to band it’s more than a class.”

They want to show the community they’re more than just entertainment at sporting events.

“The community only sees us for a pep band,” Olson said.

But talk to them for one minute and you will hear the young musicians’ enthusiasm for their craft.

“The pieces they are selecting are very good with phrasing, emotion and technical difficulty,” said Bruce Lantz, Oak Harbor High School band instructor.

“Each piece of music has its own personality,” Olson said.

They put in extra time beyond the Oak Harbor High School band room, getting together weeknights, weekends and any other free time to fine tune their tune.

Most all of the musicians plan to continue honing their music talents in the future and Lantz couldn’t be more happy about that.

“These days they’ve got a lot going on in their lives,” he said. “It’s a testament to their dedication that they continue to keep music in their busy lives.”

While the sounds of Holland Happening oompah bands drifted through Oak Harbor last week, a group of Oak Harbor High School musicians was playing the sweet sounds of success.

Playing Brahm’s Quartet No. 5, seniors Ben Olson on trumpet, Mark Ogren on trombone, Michael Bressler on baritone, and junior David Marshall on French horn received all superiors at both the state and regional competition this year.

Ogren said the piece has a technical difficulty that showcases the individual strength of the players, and yet allows them to display their blended abilities.

“Together we’ve grown a lot musically,” Olson said.

Olson, Ogren and Bressler have been together since they were freshmen. Marshall rotated in this year, filling the fourth position that has seen musicians coming and going due to relocation, compatibility and everything in between.

This capping state run is fulfilling for the group, but not out of the norm for the Oak Harbor High School music program, they say. Hundreds of combined years of solo, duet and ensemble competition experience has helped build a tradition for excellence within the program.

“It’s big to be going to state consistently,” Ogren said. “Not all schools can have this success.”

Oak Harbor sent 16 instrumental entries to the San Juan Music Education Association conference regional competition the last weekend of January. Of that, 11 earned superior ratings which is the highest possible, and the remaining received excellent, the second-best ranking.

Oak Harbor band students earning bids to the state competition held at Central Washington University April 26 were junior John Hu on alto sax accompanied by Dazzle Roland on piano; the brass quartet of Bressler, Ogren, Olson and Marshall; Olson with a solo piece; and Ogren with a duet.

State alternates were Madison Anne Shipley on saxophone and Larajean Lauzen on clarinet. On the choral side, mezzo soprano Kristin Ceresola and baritone Jordan Kingma also competed at state.

John Hu and Dazzle Roland paired for the second year, this latest turn at state earning them superior ratings from all three judges. Their competition piece, “Scaramouche” by Darius Milhaud, is a suite in three movements that Hu considers “energetic and playful.”

Olson’s solo piece, Concerto for Trumpet by Alexander Arutiunian, garnered him one superior and two excellent ratings.

“There’s a spice to it,” Olson said of the music. “It’s technical and melodic.”

Performing “Sonata for Trombone and Piano” by Eric Ewazen on trombone, Mark Ogren rated three superiors.

Most of the musicians have been participating in school bands since they were grade-schoolers. They’re serious about it. Passion is in no short supply.

Mike Bressler admits it’s an addiction.

For Ben Olson, it’s his sanity.

“When you sit down and play music it takes away from whatever bad day you might be having,” he said. “When you come to band it’s more than a class.”

They want to show the community they’re more than just entertainment at sporting events.

“The community only sees us for a pep band,” Olson said.

But talk to them for one minute and you will hear the young musicians’ enthusiasm for their craft.

“The pieces they are selecting are very good with phrasing, emotion and technical difficulty,” said Bruce Lantz, Oak Harbor High School band instructor.

“Each piece of music has its own personality,” Olson said.

They put in extra time beyond the Oak Harbor High School band room, getting together weeknights, weekends and any other free time to fine tune their tune.

Most all of the musicians plan to continue honing their music talents in the future and Lantz couldn’t be more happy about that.

“These days they’ve got a lot going on in their lives,” he said. “It’s a testament to their dedication that they continue to keep music in their busy lives.”

Community Events, April 2014

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