Pops Concert

The Chamber Orchestra performing at the Pops Concert

The Chamber Orchestra performing at the Pops Concert

With many outstanding concerts of this year, the Pops Concert this May has truly stood out as spectacular, leaving many students excited for future performances. While it was the last concert at Centennial for this year’s seniors, the underclassmen were able to perform with them for the last time for a memorable and lively finale.   

The Pops Concert was different from the other concerts this year. While other concerts have been focused on more classical music, the Pops Concert was all about pop culture, including music more focused on movies and TV shows. The band, orchestra, and choir programs all participated in the unique concert

The choir Pops Concert with all of the choir groups.

Rebecca Vanover, Centennial’s choir director, was immensely proud of her students and the entire Fine Arts team. However, she described the concert as “a challenge, given the time of year.” Despite many contributing factors, such as AP and finals testing season,  the time crunch, and simply approaching the end of the school year, they managed to perform spectacularly, making this concert a highlight for many. 

A freshman choir student expressed that “this concert was different from the concerts we did in the past because we were able to sing choral arrangements of upbeat songs.” Some of the performances included German hard-rock, and other small groups of students and solos displayed their talents by singing different types of pop music.

The Wind Ensemble playing “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas”.

Alex Tija, another freshman choir student, mentions that he likes it when he can sing songs that he knows. He also mentions that the Pops Concert was in preparation for a couple weeks. He mentioned the struggles of this concert cycle. Since the rehearsal time was so short, it was hard to make sure everything was correct. 

Under the direction of band director David Matchim came the band performance. He feels that all of the band groups did very well considering the short time they had. The band had about a month of preparation to learn all of their music and play it perfectly. Matchim mentions that he “cherishes [the band’s] last performances together,” with the now graduated seniors.

Freshman Ian Doll plays in the Symphonic Band and thought that the performance went well. He enjoyed most of the pieces that were played, but his favorite was when the Wind Ensemble performed “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” alongside a slideshow of visual details. According to him, the pieces were quite impressive and engaging. He was only one out of only two trombonists in the Symphonic Band, so he felt proud to be a part of the band and support it. He also mentions that he enjoyed the Jazz Band when they played in between transitions of the bands, and appreciated seeing their hard work since they had been practicing for so long. Doll states that “some of the notes, especially in ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ were difficult”, and that he would have changed that piece for something that is not too hard, but was challenging to learn at the same time.

The Chamber Orchestra performing at the Pops Concert

Mathew Boggs, the orchestra director at Centennial, thought that this year’s Pops Concert was a nice blend of different types of music, which was entertaining for the audience. “Conducting these types of concerts are always fun, mostly because students have a say in what they play,” explained Boggs. Although the music was easy, the orchestra had a couple of struggles, and working with the group at this time of year was a mix of frustration and enjoyment. There are so many state tests to prepare for, and the students were exhausted as well as mentally and physically drained. Although all of this was happening, they still had a pleasant time playing their part. They only had three weeks to learn the music, as it was introduced around the last week of April. The biggest difficulty was when the seniors were focused on getting ready to leave, making it difficult for them to concentrate. Boggs remarks that working with the seniors “is a bittersweet type of situation,” since the group will never perform all together again. At the same time, however, the seniors had arrived at a moment where they can go on to achieve greater things in life. 

Cindy Chan, sophomore and cellist at Centennial, has been a member of the orchestra for two years. From her experience, the Pops Concert is always one of the best. It is not just because it is the last concert, but also because the group has “gotten a lot better as musicians and this is a lot more interesting.” The Pops Concert is a great way to bond with the orchestra for one last time.  Now that the all main important things were over, like assessments and Disney, the Pops Concert was the last big performance left. The only thing Chan would change about it is to make the music slightly longer. Other than that, she remembers it as a fun experience.

It goes without question that this year’s Pops Concert was a very unique experience. With such a great end to the year, most performers are excited at what next year’s concerts will bring.


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