Monday, April 29, 2013

HOT OFF THE PRESS - April 29, 2013

Alvirne Bands are Superior in PA!
Submitted by Dave Walker, FOM Trip Chaperone and Proud Parent!

There can be many ways to interpret superior, but the recent performances of the Alvirne High School Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Combo, and Jazz Band to perform in the Rhythms International Music Festival, Philadelphia PA were beyond expectations. Performing at the Festival, which was held on April 21, 2013 at Garnet Valley High School in Glen Mills, PA, was part of the band’s annual spring trip that also included some interesting and fun sightseeing in the city of Philadelphia.

Under the direction of Gerry Bastien, District Music Coordinator, and Director of Bands at Alvirne all four groups performed flawlessly. Three adjudicators evaluated each group after their performance and provided helpful suggestions. The adjudicators were David Blumberg, Principal Clarinetist for the Philadelphia Symphony and voting member of the Grammys, Steve Selfridge, first call Tenor Sax performer in the Philadelphia area as well as Jazz Educator, Temple University and Craig Snyder District Coordinator and Director of Bands Penncrest High School Media PA.

Performances began from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Later in the evening, there was a banquet and awards ceremony held at the Double Tree for all groups that performed at the festival. The performance groups from Alvirne were awarded a Superior rating that included a commemorative plaque from the festival, a letter from the Mayor of Philadelphia and a Betsy Ross Flag, representing the city of Brotherly Love. The AHS instrumental performance groups continued to set the standard and everyone celebrated the recognition with music and dancing during the evening. Student Musicians from Alvirne and St. Thomas Aquinas Toronto Canada joined a live band on stage for some music jamming and energetic sing along. Our own Mr. Bastien was invited up to the stage to perform…little did anyone know that Alvirne has it’s own “King of Rock ‘n Roll!”

In addition to the music festival, all students and chaperones were treated to a variety of activities during the trip. Saturday April 20 after traveling by coach bus for 7 hours students settle in the hotel then prepared to be entertained at the New Candle Light Dinner Theater to the Broadway musical Legally Blond. Just a quick aside, one of the actors was a former roommate at UNH with John Bossleman a 2003 graduate of Alvirne High School. 

Sunday (April 21) was dedicated to performances and the awards banquet. On Monday (April 22) had a day-long visit to Philadelphia that included exploring the Zoo, running up the “Rocky Steps” in front of the Museum of Art, visiting the Liberty Bell, and touring Independence Hall. A fun night of bowling closed out a busy day and a successful trip!

As Mr. Bastien always reminds the students “The band is judged not by its intentions, but by it’s behavior. There is no second chance to make a first impression”.

The Alvirne Bands once again rose to the occasion and met the high standard that is always expected during school trips. They proudly represented Alvirne High School and the town of Hudson with class and professionalism. The dedicated behind-the-scenes work by Mr. and Mrs. Bastien, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Landry from CSL Tours along with all the adult chaperones, who take time out of their personal lives, made the trip one to remember and once again demonstrated how our band students “Choose To, Want To, Love To!”