Tag: Thomas Hitt

Fall Concert Recap

Words: Thomas Hitt

Band

On Monday, October 14, Centennial kicked off the fall concert cycle with their four band ensembles. 

The jazz band opened the night, performing two upbeat songs that were filled with solos. The first song was Barnburner by Les Hooper and the second song was LaFiesta by Chick Corea. 

After the jazz band finished, Symphonic Band filed onto the stage and played Coast Guards March by Karl King, under the direction of James Kranz, the new addition to the band program. When the first song came to a close, Kranz introduced himself to the audience. He then continued directing Mark Lortz’s The Heart of Madness and Richard Saucedo’s Fanfare for Justice.

The Symphonic Winds took the stage next, playing El Capitan, a John Phillip Sousa march directed by David Matchim, followed by Journey Through Orion by Julie Giroux directed by Kranz. For the last song, Rakes of Mallow by Leroy Anderson, Matchim returned to the podium to conduct.

When the Symphonic Winds exited the stage, the Wind Ensemble entered. They performed three movements of Julie Giroux’s Symphony No. IV: Bookmarks of Japan. The first movement was Fuji-San meaning “Mt. Fuji,” the second was Nihonbashi meaning “Bridge Market,” and the third was Kinryu-zan Sensoji meaning “Thunder Gate.” In addition to normal percussion instruments, the ensemble played taiko drums, a Japanese percussion instrument. 

Words: Emily Hollwedel

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

Orchestra

On the night of Tuesday, October 15, parents and students alike arrived at Centennial to view the fall orchestra concert. It was conducted by orchestra teacher Allen Leung. 

Centennial’s orchestra played a selection comprised of two works: Symphony No. 14 by Robert Schuzman and Symphony No. 21 by Mozart. The concert was well-recieved by both the audience and the students participating. 

“I think the concert went really well,” said violist Praagna Kashyap.

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

Choir

On Wednesday, October 16, Centennial’s choir department performed at their annual fall concert. The Chamber Choir sang If Ye Love Me and In His Care-O, Belle Voce sang Down in the River to Pray and Si Me Vers Avaient des Ailes, and Concert Choir sang Festival Cantate and Tunggare.

Rebecca Vanover, the director of the choir department, decided to resume this fall concert tradition this year. Kai Daley, a junior and member of both Belle Voce and Chamber Choir, says that this new concert date took some adjustment.

“I personally felt kind of thrown,” Daley said. “I’m not used to performing fresh out of the gate.” 

Along with a new concert schedule, Daley also had to get used to the new voices around her. 

“It was especially strange for me in Chamber Choir to stand in the same place as last year but to hear some completely different voices around me. The concert did give me a really good feeling about the freshmen and anyone else new to the choir.” 

Despite these new changes, the choir still kept old traditions alive.

“After every concert, we also write post-its of encouragement and what we thought went well, so you always feel like you’re doing a good job,” she said.

Daley is looking forward to the upcoming concert season, and she is already seeing improvement.

“We had a really good sound, and that’s only a month into the school year, so I am really excited to see how the new groups, but particularly Concert Choir, which has the bulk of the new voices, improves.”

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Jocelyn Mathew Places Third in International Competition

Words: Thomas Hitt

The International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) took place from May 12 to 17 in Phoenix, Arizona. The event hosted about 1,800 kids from 75 countries. Jocelyn Mathew, a Centennial senior and 2019 graduate, competed in the category of Cellular Biology in the subgroup of Cellular Immunology.

Projects ranged from sunglasses that reduce glare to microscopes that detect cancer. Mathew said she was “blown away by the caliber of the projects” as they were “innovative and incredible.”

“When walking into the big competition hall where they display projects, I felt super grateful to be a part of it!” Mathew said.

Intelligent, creative and hardworking student researchers competed in the ISEF competition. India, Ukraine, South Africa, and Brazil are just a few of the native countries of the students that Mathew got to meet at the event.

The concept of one of Mathew’s opponents focused on better understanding neurodegeneration, when the function of neurons is lost. Mathew considered the event more of a learning experience as opposed to a competition.

When it came around to the awards ceremony, Mathew won third place and a trip to the International Science Summer Institute (ISSI).

“Overall, it was an invaluable experience,” said Matthew. “I learned a lot, got to network with the next generation of scientific leaders, and had a ton of fun!”

Photo Contributed by ISEF

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The List of Coaches for the 2019-20 Sports Season is Out Now

Words: Thomas Hitt

Congratulations to all the coaches below who were selected for the fall and winter sports season of 2019-20.

Fall Coaches

Boys Cross Country Head Coach – Robert Slopek

JV Field Hockey Coach – Ying Schaik

JV Football Coach – Dominic Peters

Varsity Girls Soccer Head Coach – Hank Hurren

Grade 9 Volleyball Coach – Michelle Riley

Head JV Volleyball Coach – Kenny Mills (previously 9th Grade V-Ball Coach)

Winter Coach

Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach – Chris Sanders (previously JV Boys Basketball)

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The Centennial Jazz Band on Rewind

Words: Thomas Hitt

Photos: Zach Grable

On a brisk Monday evening, May 29, The Early Bird Big Band, Centennial’s jazz band, presented their first ever 90-minute jazz concert featuring a professional sound crew, providing the best listening experience possible.

To open the night, the jazz band played “Magic Flea.” The second song of the night was “A Time for Love,” featuring a trombone solo by Jack Keane.

After the trombone feature, the band played “Caravan,” with a drum, bass and alto sax solo.

The jazz band played The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” followed by the theme from the hit TV show Family Guy.

A fun song including saxophone, drum and trombone solos were featured in the next song, “The Chicken.”

Next, the jazz band performed Count Basie’s “Flight of the Foo Birds,” which included a tenor sax solo by Milynn Lekhavanija, an alto sax solo by Colin Eng and a trumpet solo by Joshua Oberly.

For the jazz band’s eighth song of the night, they played Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The saxes opened the song and Keane entered on trombone with the melody and chorus.

After “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the jazz band went backstage for a short break. However, they shortly returned and played “Sesame Street” with a solo by drummer Jackson Rowles and trumpeter Colin Homassel.

The tenth song was “Backlash,” a jazz combo featuring the rhythm section, Homassel on trumpet, Eng on alto sax, and Keane on trombone.

Saxophonist Eng performed a solo in “Georgia on my Mind” after the jazz combo, while the rest of the band accompanied him. The song was delicate and precise with a warm sound from the saxophone solo.

Following “Georgia on my Mind” was “Afro Blue,” and the next song performed was Stevie Wonder’s ”Higher Ground.”

The jazz band then performed “Sing, Sing, Sing” a jazz tune composed by Benny Goodman. The song featured solos from both Rowles and Oberly. After the jazz band finished the song, the audience rose to their feet with clapping and cheers.

For the final song of the night, the jazz band performed Justin Bieber’s “Despacito.” The band again received a standing ovation from the audience.

“It was a lot of work, and in the end it paid off,” said Keane. Since the jazz band is not a huge program, Keane said “[he takes] pride in the fact that [he’s] helping to build the program up.”

Senior and baritone sax jazz musician, Seth Crumley, said “I think that having a concert focused on jazz was a great way to showcase the jazz band. A lot of people attended and really seemed to enjoy it.”

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Jocelyn Mathew Wins Grand Prize at the Baltimore Science Fair

Words: Thomas Hitt

On March 23 and 24, Centennial senior Jocelyn Mathew competed in the Baltimore Science Fair and won the grand prize, meaning she will be traveling to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona from May 12 to the 17.

Mathew’s project was on helper T cells and how they can be used in fighting pancreatic cancer. She conducts her research at Johns Hopkins and has been researching for the past two years now. Mathew collects data on mice and cell assays, testing whether certain proteins are activated by immune cells in a vaccine.

In regards to the event in Phoenix, Mathew continues to collect data hoping to conduct a study testing the impact vaccines have on tumor growth. The event hosts about 1800 kids from 75 countries, and doctoral leveled scientists judge the work provided by the students. Mathews will be competing for awards ranging from internships to even scholarships up to $50,000. Mathews will be competing in a category of Cellular Biology, in the subgroup of Cellular Immunology.

Mathew was surprised she won when she received the news from her dad.

“I wasn’t really thinking about winning, I kind of just went [to the fair] because I wanted to discuss my research with people who might be interested,” said Mathew.

Mathew, excited that she won, is thrilled for the competition in Phoenix.

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JV Boys Basketball Season in Review

Words: Thomas Hitt

On Tuesday February 26, the Centennial Boys’ Junior Varsity basketball team concluded their season with a record of 21-1.

Christian Sanders, the coach of the boys’ Centennial JV basketball team said, “We set the bar very high and expect to win every game… efficiently [using] practice time to be ready to play what turns out to be a long season.”

The JV basketball team is similar to the Varsity team regarding structure and style. “Our players are coachable, seem to buy-in to our system, and [execute it in games].” Coach Sanders is proud to be apart of such a successful team.

“I thought we were one of the best JV teams at this school in awhile,” said Bryson Baker, a sophomore and captain of the team. “I thought we handled the pressure of trying to go undefeated well, since teams would try their hardest to end our winning streak.”

Baker explained that the team had difficulty starting in the first half however in the second half they would come back and win. “We showed a lot of toughness in crucial road games against Howard, Hammond, and Hebron,” said Baker.

Starters on the team would score points however players from the bench would come into the game and score crucial points as well.

In a review of this year’s basketball season, the JV Boys’ basketball team had their only loss against Atholton, losing by only two points.

“[The] Howard [basketball team] proved to be a top-level team, [falling to the Centennial JV team] twice by double digits” Sanders said.

Lastly, the win against Wilde Lake allowed the JV team to clinch a place at the top of the county for the second year in a row.

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Centennial beats Blair in Science Bowl Finals

Words: Thomas Hitt

Centennial’s Science Bowl team went undefeated this year, winning 11 games in a row. In the finals, Centennial defeated Montgomery Blair High School  74-58, resulting in Centennial’s first tournament win in history.

The Science Bowl consists of two eight-minute halves in which a moderator reads a question relating to physics, chemistry, biology, math and other fields.

An individual from one of the six teams can buzz in and answer the question, but they are not allowed to receive help from his or her peers. If a question is answered correctly, then they are given a bonus question, for which they can get help from other teammates. The team with the most points after the second half is declared the winner.

The team has put in countless hours to continue to improve themselves. “We meet every Monday. Outside of that, we practice online on Protobowl on top of our individual readings.”

Prior to the 2018-19 school year, Centennial’s Science Bowl team had placed in the top eight every year, going back to 2016.

Thomas Luo, a senior at Centennial High School and captain of the science bowl team, described this year’s victory as “absolute insanity.” Having lost to Blair in 2016 and 2017, Luo and the team were very impressed with the win.

Photo taken and contributed by C. Dillon.

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