OVERCOMING all odds amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, over 100 musicians, young and old, came together on Sunday to perform at the 4th Annual Saipan Wind Band Festival at Fiesta Resort.
After just mere months of practice, the Su-san Band; the Saipan International School Advanced Ensemble; the Saipan Community School Concert Band; the Marianas High School Concert Band; the Mount Carmel School Jazz Knights, Concert Band, and Wind Orchestra; and the Saipan Pacific Winds Concert Band combined forces to play pieces that fused both the old and the new.
Opening the night with “Rhapsody in Blue," composed by George Gershwin and arranged by Jun Yagi, was the five-member Su-san Band, serenading the audience on the clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, trombone, and tuba.
The SIS Advanced Ensemble directed by Tricia Anne Gleason followed with an inaugural performance on “Pachelbel Canon for Woodwind Quintet,” composed by Johann Pachelbel and arranged by Daniel Dorff.
The ensemble also played “Down by the Salley Gardens,” an Irish folk melody arranged by Michael Sweeney, as well as “My Heart Will Go On,” composed by James Horner and arranged by Paul Murtha.
The group first came to be this past February, and is made up of a group of students in grades 8 to 12: flutists Olivia Hwang and Seiyul Hong, clarinetist Cathy Woo, percussionists Hyeonjae Park and Min Cho, and keyboardist Maria Shin.
The SCS Concert Band directed by Ruthi Fruit performed next, opening a crowd favorite, “La Bamba,” arranged by Christian Morris, followed by “Night Train,” composed by Paul Barker.
They followed with a Traditional African spiritual, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” arranged by Christian Morris, and closed out with “Harlem Nocturne,” composed by Earle Hagen and arranged by Andrew Balent.
The band has been performing for over three decades, honing students’ abilities as soon as they reach the fourth grade, and continuing to refine their skills throughout the years, performing folk, jazz, holiday, and film music.
It consists of flutists Byul An, Jennifer JiHyo Kim, Celine Park, Joan Song and Joanne Yoon; clarinetists Vivian Chung and Andrew Heart Guerrero; alto saxophonists Hilah Bacani, Matthew Hwang, Patrick McDonald, David Park, Sheryne Yang, and Jacky Zhen; trumpeters Lola Guerrero, JiHun Park, and Jose Sablan; and percussionists Gabriela Bark, Abbie Kim, Landon Springer, Annabella Tudela, Joshua Yoo, and Richard Zhao.
Up next was the MHS Concert Band directed by Gina Aguilar, joined by alumni tenor saxophonist Timothy James Castillon, alumni tubist Jefferson Cunanan, Saipan Pacific Winds percussionist Mikko Miguel Cruz, and MCS Concert Band conductor Julian Greening.
They performed “Afterburn,” composed by Randall D. Standridge, “Bring to Light,” composed by Tyler Arcari, “The Incredibles: Part 1,” composed by Michael Giaccino and arranged by Jay Bocook, and “Uptown Funk,” composed by Bruno Mars and arranged by Michael Sweeney.
The band consists of flutists Tina Zhen, Angel Ren, Michelle Ryu, and Bomee Park; clarinetists Hana Ojima, Grace Kim, and Seung Won Lee; bass clarinetist Erica Kim; alto saxophonist James Par; trumpeters Vinson Bacani and Edward Diaz; and percussionists Sukey Wu, Miles Borja, and Jeric Ben Quimzon.
The three MCS bands directed by Julian Greening also took the stage with the Jazz Knights performing “Birdland,” composed by Josef Zawinul and arranged by John Berry; the concert band performing “Celtic Air and Dance,” composed by Michael Sweeney; and the wind orchestra performing “Gurenge,” composed by Kayoko Kusono and arranged by Mikio Gohma, and “Novena,” composed by James Swearingen.
The MCS bands consists of flutists Kesiil Camacho, Hiromi Sasamoto, Sage Villagomez, Siwoo Lee, Bereana Patawaran, Jee Woo Son, and Meagan Camacho; bassoonist and tenor saxophonist Joseph Pangelinan; clarinetists Henry Yeom, Henry Choi, Jake Regalado, Leyonne Tolentino, and Nicole Mariano; bass clarinetist Chae Eun Kim; alto saxophonists Kaito Rechucher, Jennifer Mallari, Wayne Ano, Jai Lee, and Elise Maratita; tenor saxophonists Enzo Sasamoto and Dogeon Kim; trumpeters Therese Ogo, Maya Jung, Stephen Yeom, Maria Esguerra, Remiegem Melchor, Gavril Santiago and Heleyna Dela Santa; trombonists Oscar Buenaflor, Natalie Ano, and Takeshi Suzuki; percussionists Qunice Tizon, William Cano, Nicole Pangelinan, Penelope Sablan, Hiriya Rechucher, and Ye Lynn Ha; guitarist Penelope Sablan; and bass guitarist Jedric Villar.
The Saipan Pacific Winds Concert Band directed by Atsuko Eck later performed “Mt. Everest,” composed by Rossano Galante, “Ancient Flower,” composed by Yukiko Nishimura, and selections by Marc Shaiman and arranged by Ted Ricketts from the award-winning Broadway musical and movie, “Hairspray.”