By Cole Garvey
Mira Costa High School’s Grammy Award Winning Orchestra finished off the 2017 school year with an exhilarating and breathtaking POPS Concert on June 6 at the Costa Auditorium. Family, friends and students filled the auditorium for an emotional and unforgettable performance from the three wonderful orchestras.
Costa’s student musicians are incredibly talented at their craft, and exceptionally well conducted by Peter Park, the programs director. Costa’s end of year POPS Concert was a perfect chance for the students to exhibit their impressive abilities as musicians, while they maintained the high degree of excellence that Costa’s Orchestra demands.
Mira Costa’s Orchestra program consists of three separate, highly skilled orchestras led by director, Peter Park. The Philharmonic Orchestra, consisting of 61 members, performed first playing the violin, viola, violoncello, double bass, piano and drums. The smaller 18-member Chamber Orchestra consisting of the violins, violas, violoncellos and double basses performed next. Lastly, the 81 member Symphony Orchestra concluded the evening by performing with the core string instruments as well as woodwinds and percussion.
POPS Concerts are popular for their success in combining critically acclaimed classical works with well known or modern themes from popular movies or television shows. They also include beloved arrangements from popular plays and dramas.
In this Peter Park production, musicians entertained their audience with 14 musical pieces, all extraordinarily performed and skillfully integrated within each other. The first song played by each orchestra caught the audience’s attention immediately. The songs were perfectly arranged, gliding from one melody to another effortlessly, with an immense amount of precision.
Subtly, while the musicians performed, colored lights flashed on the back of the stage reflecting the mood of the song. This slight detail which was designed by the Orchestra’s Art Director, Richard Elegino, gave the concert a unique personality and deeper meaning. By using these colors, Elegino gave the audience an idea of the mood and concept of each song.
The Symphony Orchestra’s extravagant rendition of “Raiders March,” wowed the audience with its boisterous trumpets which echoed through the auditorium. The musicians played this song with such precision that Costa’s version sounded so similar to the original, it could have been mistaken for the John Williams Orchestra, the original composer of “Raiders March.”
One of the most memorable moments of the night was when the Symphony Orchestra performed the premiere of Costa Senior, Nicholas Sievers’ “Contemplations,” an honest and pure piece describing difficult times in Sievers’ life. This display of young talent is a perfect example of how Peter Park nurtures the love of music within his Costa students.
“An American in Paris,” the last song of the evening, was an infatuating tune describing an American walking through the streets of Paris. With the Orchestra’s trombones acting as the honks from taxis and the string section playing French music, it gave the audience the impression that they were truly experiencing Paris. This song was the most impressive of the evening, revealing the Orchestra’s expertise during this lavish and entertaining piece.
The evening concluded in a celebratory tone as audience members gave graduating seniors a standing ovation for their time and commitment as Mira Costa Orchestra musicians. Costa’s final orchestral performance of the year highlighted the excellence for which Peter Park is known, as his orchestra entertained the audience with a variety of melodious pieces.