Arts & Entertainment

64th Annual Arcadia Festival of Bands

The 2016 Arcadia Festival of Bands. – Courtesy photo / Arcadia Music Club

The 64th Annual Arcadia Festival of Bands (AFOB) will take place Saturday, November 18, 2017. Arcadia Festival of Bands is the longest-running band review in California.

With a rich history this band competition attracts 40 of the top high school bands in Southern California. The all-day event consists of the Band Review starting at 9 a.m. with the Dignitary Parade leading off on Baldwin Avenue, south of Huntington Drive. The Percussion Festival starts at 11:30 a.m. at Salter Stadium at Arcadia High School followed by the Band Review Awards Ceremony at 1:45 p.m.

The evening field tournament is the 6A Division Championship for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association which starts at 6 p.m. at Citrus College in Glendora, CA followed by the Awards Ceremony at 9 p.m.

The 2017 AFOB theme, Inspiring the Future, is embodied by the Grand Marshals, Mike Danielson, Jeff Grable and Karl Morton, who are music directors at Arcadia’s Middle Schools. With a combined total of 82 years of teaching (60 in Arcadia), they have inspired thousands upon thousands of students While these directors have much in common, they are also very individual people:

“There is one thing that Mr. Danielson does every year that I believe makes every student on campus feel their diversity is important to our school culture. He researches songs from different cultures for students to perform especially at the holiday concerts every year. He also personalizes music education for students of all abilities. There are many students with learning challenges or non-English that might struggle with playing an instrument or singing in the choir but he ensures that they have a great experience and perform magically. All in all, not only is he an incredible music teacher, he is a truly compassionate human being.” — Semeen Issa, First Avenue Middle School Principal.

“Jeff Grable, Dana Middle School’s music director is responsible for the musical education of over 300 students. He teaches six periods or orchestra, band and guitar. The most amazing thing for me is that Jeff learns all the students names very quickly and every day they line up to come into the room and he greets them by name. Talk about personalized learning! He is passionate about music and shares this love with his students. It is infectious. Dana Music is an integral part of the school due to Jeff’s steady hand. He is not loud. He does not yell. He simply conducts. His musical groups are a representation of that. Precise, clear with a sense of humor. Inspiration comes from the example from which Jeff leads every single day.” – Daniel Hacking, Dana Middle School Principal.

“Karl Morton inspires students to reach their full potential not only as musicians, but as student leaders.

Whether in band, orchestra, bag pipes or drum line, music lends itself to our district values like collaboration, critical thinking and being creative. Karl leads this charge, putting in extra hours of late nights, early mornings, and long weekends to provide students with exceptional opportunities to develop their talents in music, and to grow as young men and women of character.” — Ben Acker, Foothills Middle School Principal.

November 1, 2017

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