The voice of the students

The Catamount

The voice of the students

The Catamount

The voice of the students

The Catamount

BHS Music on the National Stage

Music is what unites our world; it is one of the greatest joys of life. With hundreds of genres, harmonies, melodies, and more, music is one of the most beautiful art forms created by humanity. The Bothell High School Music Department brings this art form alive, immersing its students in musical expression. All the hard work the music students and teachers put into their art form has been rightfully recognized, as the BHS Jazz Band has made it into Essentially Ellington, and the BHS Chamber Orchestra has made it into the ASTA National Orchestra Festival.

Essentially Ellington is an annual high school jazz band festival/competition that takes place at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. A handful of high school jazz bands across the country are chosen to participate, and not only has Bothell’s Jazz Band made it in this year, but this will be their third year in a row competing. Mr. Philip Dean, our school’s band director, stated that “[…] it’s pretty rare [to get in], and it’s definitely very rare that anybody gets in three times in a row,” later adding that because of this accomplishment, he feels “[…] so proud of [his] students and all the hard work they have put in to achieve this goal.” Furthermore, he explains that being in the BHS Jazz Band means “[…] you need a strong work ethic, because music doesn’t just happen. It takes work in and outside of school.” According to Mr. Dean, “[this band] may be our best band that we’ve had get into Essentially Ellington.” Made apparent by Mr. Dean’s several accolades, the BHS Jazz Band is incredibly dedicated to their craft, and this great accomplishment is well deserved. Bothell’s performance was on May 11th at 7:00 AM (PST) and was broadcast live. The recording has also been posted online, so be sure to give it a listen and appreciate the dedication Mr. Dean and his students put into their performance!

The American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Orchestra Festival is an annual orchestra festival/competition, this year taking place in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Trevor McNamara, our school’s orchestra director, explained how “[getting into nationals] has been a goal of [his], because [he] wants to give the Chamber Orchestra the experience and opportunity to perform nationally.” Bothell’s Chamber Orchestra has been chosen from several high school orchestras across the country to participate in the festival, demonstrating the hard work and dedication of the BHS Chamber Orchestra. Mr. McNamara described that “[…] the group [he has] this year has had a different approach [than those in previous years]. Since they’ve been accepted to perform at this festival, they’ve had a higher level of focus and have been working on more mature, advanced pieces.” Aside from the great amount of pride and respect Mr. McNamara clearly has for his dedicated students, he also emphasized that “[he’s] really looking forward to reflecting on the experience afterwards.” Since this is a new opportunity for both him and all his students, “[…] it takes a great level of mental focus to prepare for this sort of experience, not just practicing until you’re perfect. [He] wants to ensure that his students feel comfortable and prepared to take on this new challenge.” The BHS Chamber Orchestra performed at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival on March 21 at 4:00 PM, and we could not be more proud of their hard work. Stay on the lookout for clips of their stellar performance, as Mr. McNamara is hoping to put together a video!

With the early-morning practices, hours of work in and outside of school, sectionals, and overall zeal for music, the BHS Jazz Band and the BHS Chamber Orchestra have demonstrated that hard work truly does pay off. Their dedication to their beautiful talent is incredibly inspiring to bear witness to.

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