By AUSD Digital Communications Intern Jasmine Oang
As the end of the school year draws near, Arcadia High’s (AHS) Orchestra and Band ended the concert season with their annual Spring Pops Concert. A unique experience, Spring Pops is unlike the usual formal concerts held at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center; students leave their black-tie or Apache red-and-white uniforms at home and dawn a bright array of colors to represent a cheerful end to the music season. To weave together the spring theme the concert is held outdoors at the local Los Angeles County Arboretum, exposing attendees to a whimsical, relaxed, picnic-like experience.
Each year, this event provides performers and attendees alike the opportunity to create a myriad of memories. For AHS sophomore Sydney Chang, the concert is a great way to “get some laughs” while also “being able to enjoy nature” as she recalled a memorable moment when she and her friends befriended a few of the Arboretum’s residential peafowls at last year’s concert. AHS junior Matthew Gao agreed, sharing, “I think the Pops Concert is an excellent way to end the school year because the setting is quite relaxed compared to the large, sound-reflecting hall of the Arcadia Performing Arts Center.”
AHS has an expansive and diverse music program with three Orchestras and three Bands in addition to auxiliary music groups. For two days, May 22 and 23, the different Orchestra and Band groups performed a variety of songs fitting for an audience of all ages. Only three groups performed per night, allowing attendees to witness a unique lineup each night.
On the first night, Orchestra 2, Band 2, and Band 3 started off the concert with a selection that demonstrated a diverse array of skills and genre. Orchestra 2 kicked off the event with a flowing medley from “The Phantom in the Opera” in addition to a memorable medley from “La La Land,” and the popular Elvis Presley song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Changing the tone, Band 2 shined the spotlight on Broadway favorites from “Hamilton” and brought an upbeat vibe to contrast the previous fantastical tunes. They also added a piece from Disney’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Finishing the night, Band 3 changed the mood by adding a touch of classical music from Romantic composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and ended with an upbeat piece from Pixar’s “The Incredibles.”
Reflecting the assorted program on the first night, Orchestra 1, Band 1, and Orchestra 3 ended the event with some memorable pieces for the night number two audience. Orchestra 1 brought back nostalgic childhood memories for guests of all ages through a medley from “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and “An American in Paris.” Continuing the Disney theme from the previous night, Band 1 performed a tune from the Disney movie, “Moana,” in addition to other selections. Concluding the event, Orchestra 3 added to Orchestra 1’s J.K. Rowling theme with a medley from “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and finished with the jazz piece “Cityscapes.”