“Enjoying the moment”: performing arts students take home lessons, memories from their Hawaii music festival

Jackson Cummings, Web Sports Editor

In a grandiose display of wind and sound, the chamber orchestra, wind ensemble, and chamber, concert, and acapella choir performed overseas for the first time since before the pandemic.

All three groups participated in World Projects’ triennial music festival in Oahu and Maui, Hawaii to perform alongside high school bands across the nation from March 21 to 25.

One of the performances at the festival featured the first and only “combined joint-performance” of the wind ensemble, chamber orchestra, and choir, euphonium player and senior Alex Green said.

“What was going through my mind was [that] this was our last opportunity to perform this repertoire. I just wanted to see everybody have a good performance and succeed,” Green said. 

First seat tenor saxophone player and senior Corey Chow said the music festival abroad was a “chance to improve” from the various clinics and other opportunities.

“One of the major reasons we go is because we meet a lot of really cool people while we’re there,” Chow said. 

Green shares Chow’s sentiment of the festival experience.

“I think it had a good balance of performance and free time. We had a lot of opportunities to do fun stuff on our own in Hawaii,” Green said. “And we had quite a few good performances from the ensemble, chamber orchestra, and choir.”

While the performance went well overall, it wasn’t without its flaws. The larger room where they performed “threw people off” since the experience was not what they were accustomed to at school, Chow said.

“I think that, like any sport or music program, there are rehearsals where you perform better than the actual thing,” Chow said. “And you can’t really control it too much. Because sometimes there’s some randomness factors.”

Performances aside, there were plenty of opportunities to make memories on tour. Green said six wind ensemble members initiated a “half-hour jazz performance” in the streets of downtown Honolulu.

Chow said the naturally-occurring cultural exchange between the MVHS and Hawaiian students was an experience he’ll “remember for a while.”

“The dynamic of the high school in Maui was very different from ours,” Chow said. “Usually, people in Silicon Valley are more college-driven. But those people were enjoying the moment — a lot more than we do. That is something that I can definitely take home.”

The trip was more than a stress-inducing performance because the festival was a time to make unforgettable memories, Chow said. 

“My time in Hawaii was a lot better than I’d expected. All the people I hung out with during my trip were mostly those I didn’t know as well. And they made the trip a lot more fun,” Chow said.