Eagles music program works, plays as a family

May 28, 2013

By Sophie Mittelstaedt

Participation in band, orchestra or choir doesn’t just mean practicing your instrument or working on your piece in class each day — it is also an after-school commitment.

Issaquah High School’s spirited band, directed by Patrick Holen, fired up fans and cheered on the football team at nearly every game this year. The band marched and played in the annual Salmon Days parade. In winter, there were basketball games, the Solo and Ensemble contest, concerts and “Swingin’ in Vienna.”

Sophie Mittelstaedt Issaquah High School

Sophie Mittelstaedt
Issaquah High School

In addition, the Greenwood Orchestra and the Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra, both directed by Doug Longman, have become trademarks through the various concerts they perform each year. The choir, directed by Barbara Irish, is also a much-enjoyed and respected program. Each year, they perform in assemblies, musicals, the Candlelight Concert, the Choir Bash, the Solo and Ensemble contest, and deliver Sing-a-grams.

One might argue that music programs do not hold as much value for a student as a math or history class. However, the determination and focus these students have is driven by passion for their art. It is this love for their craft that acts as an outlet for young adults amid the pressures of high school. A math or history class cannot serve that same purpose. In addition, the common love for music creates an invaluable bond between students.

For freshman Carly Stenzel, the choir surpassed her expectations and helped her feel welcome in the new school.

“Choir has grown into my family,” she said. “The atmosphere when I step into class always reminds me of why I love to perform. It’s exciting, and I love when we get to share our gift with others.”

Band, orchestra and choir have not only fostered budding musicians. They have also contributed to the overall spirit that defines Issaquah High School.

“Our school’s music program prides itself on being professional, yet still having fun,” Stenzel said.

 

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