2011-05-12 / Schools

Band jazzed about first-place finish at festival

By Stephanie Bertholdo


HIGH NOTES—The Medea Creek Middle School Jazz Band celebrates winning first place at the Music in the Parks Festival on April 30. The band competed against 13 other schools in the region. 
STEPHANIE BERTHOLDO/Acorn Newspapers HIGH NOTES—The Medea Creek Middle School Jazz Band celebrates winning first place at the Music in the Parks Festival on April 30. The band competed against 13 other schools in the region. STEPHANIE BERTHOLDO/Acorn Newspapers Medea Creek Middle School in Oak Park has many talented young musicians—and it shows.

Thirteen schools recently competed in the Music in the Parks festival at Rio Norte Junior High School and Valencia High School on April 30. Medea Creek’s Jazz Ensemble, a group of students in all grade levels who meet before school, ranked “superior” for their performance of “Jammin’ with Charlie,” and “The Blues at Frog Bottom.”

The group nabbed a first place trophy for their work.

The school’s talented chorus sang “Lightning,” and “Alleluia Jubilate” at the festival and it won first place also.

The Concert Band (eighthgrade band) won fourth place for its musical interpretation of “In the Honor of the Fallen,” and “Ascentium.”

According to Charlotte Shih, a math teacher at Medea who stepped in as interim band teacher for Elana Levine while she is out for maternity leave, the students “worked hard.”

“I have high expectations and we made this happen,” Shih said, adding that she only rehearsed with the Jazz Band and Concert Band for two weeks, and with the school choir for just one rehearsal.

Eighth-grade student Connor Rosenberg won the “Outstanding Soloist” award for “Jammin’ with Charlie” at the festival.

“Mrs. Levine chose the song to play,” Connor said. “I just wish Miss Levine could have seen me when I won the award.”

Connor has been playing trumpet for four years, and in addition to the instruction he receives at Medea Creek, he trains with Less Lovett, a professional musician who tours with The Eagles band.

Connor said he was “awestruck” upon receiving the firstplace medal, his first. As for his love of music—and the trumpet— Connor said, “It’s fun to play and very energetic.”

“There’s really no bad way to play because it’s open to interpretation,” he said about his chosen instrument.

Connor is planning on transferring to Agoura High School next year, partly for its acclaimed music program and also because he wants to play on the school’s water polo team. The 13-year-old said he’s been playing water polo for eight years, twice as long as he’s played the trumpet.

“I don’t really love one more than the other,” Connor said about his twin passion for music and sports.

Students enjoyed a day at Magic Mountain after the morning competition at the schools.

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