As early as 7:30 on Friday morning, the buses started rolling in at La Cañada High School and within minutes afterwards, it looked as if the Philharmonic Orchestra had arrived. Dressed in black dresses and suits with white shirts and carrying their instruments, orchestra and band students from LCHS and 13 other schools came to participate in the District Band and Orchestra Festival, sponsored by the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. All day, music could be heard on the campus.
Each group played a rehearsed piece and a sight piece, music they were given immediately before they had to play it, and having no time to practice it. Four judges rated their performance in each category. This was a professional enrichment opportunity, as opposed to competition between the groups.
"I think we will do really well. We have practiced for a month," said Nathan Harvey, a 10th grader at LCHS.
LCHS's Concert Band, Symphonic Band and String Orchestra received superior ratings, the higest ratings possible, from the judges. The 7/8 Band received an excellent rating.
Susan Addison-Hamre, director of the LCHS bands indicated she was very pleased with the ratings.
The judges were Rosemarie Krovoza, honorary life member of California Educational Music Association, Dan Bochard, a professional trombonist, Curt Richardson, band director for Eastmont Middle School and Diana Hollinger, administrative assistant for San Jose State University.
Some of the schools represented included Rosemont Middle School in La Crescenta, San Marino High School, San Dimas High School, Rincon Intermediate School in West Covina, Charter Oak High School in Covina, Ayala High School in Chino Hills and traveling the furthest was the Nordhoff High School Symphonic Band from Ojai.