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The Cougar Star

The Student News Site of Clague Middle School

The Cougar Star

The Student News Site of Clague Middle School

The Cougar Star


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7th Grade Band, Orchestra, Choir and 8th Grade Jazz Band Concert

The 7th-grade choir, band, and orchestra and the 8th-grade jazz band perform at the concert!
Sophia Alison Rustia
The 7th-grade choir, band, and orchestra and the 8th-grade jazz band perform at the concert!

On Thursday, November 18, Clague Middle School held a concert featuring the 7th grade band, orchestra, and choir, as well as the 8th grade jazz band. The event took place at Huron High School from 7-9 p.m., where students showcased their musical talent to a captivated audience. Since September, the students had been working on their performances, which included a range of musical genres from classical pieces to jazzy tunes. The concert was a great success, highlighting the students’ impressive skills in music.




 The choir has been working tirelessly since September to prepare for this concert. In addition to singing, they also incorporated a bit of acting, making the performance all the more entertaining. The choir performed four songs: Captain’s Mate, Thoughts of Home, and The Ghost Ship by Don Besig and Nancy Price, and Come and Sing by Wallace Hornady, which welcomed any 8th graders or previous choir students. Each piece was conducted by Dianna Hochella and accompanied by pianist Lisa Caron-Gatto.


7th grader Sreshta Arcot, shared her thoughts about how the concert went:  “I think everyone worked well together,” Arcot said. “We started two months ago and it was challenging at first, but we did an amazing job in the end. We practiced hard, trying not to laugh at the funny or weird actions, which was difficult, but we pulled ourselves together and gave it our all”




 The orchestra had put a lot of effort into rehearsing pieces since September, and the concert was an amazing opportunity to showcase all their hard work. The orchestra consisted of 24 violinists, 8 violists, 16 cellists, 8 double bass players, and 1 harpist. 


“My favorite song was ‘Spark of Courage’ because I thought it was a nice piece and fun to play,” 7th grader Margaux Stout, a bass player, said.  “I felt okay about being on stage because it was kind of hurried at the beginning, but once we started playing, it was fine. My favorite part of the concert was listening to the other performances because we don’t get to see what the other classes are working on very often.”


Despite being at a young age, these students have shown great passion and dedication to their craft, and their hard work paid off during their recent concert. The orchestra performed four pieces that Clague orchestra teacher Abigail Alwin conducted – “The Happy Zookeeper” by Michael Hopkins, “Spark of Courage” by Doug Spata, “As Evening Falls” by R. Anne Svendensen, and “Dragonhunter” by Richard Meyer. Each piece showcased their unique talents and skills. It was a joy to watch them perform and witness their love for music.


“The concert was so wonderful! It was awesome to see all of the music groups perform for each other, and to witness the support they gave in turn as members of the audience,” says Orchestra teacher Abigail Alwin. “The students demonstrated their excited focus as they were listening to their classmates share their learning. Each group’s performance was terrific. It was so apparent that each student takes pride in presenting their music, and that ensemble worked well to prepare.”




 The 7th-grade band concert was a true showcase of musical talent and dedication. The band had been working hard since September to perfect several pieces, including “Omega March” by John Edmondson and “Prehistoric Suite” by Paul Jennings. The songs were conducted by band teachers Jay MacArthur and Henry Blackson-Pakela. The 7th-grade band consisted of 3 tubas, 2 euphoniums, 7 trombones, 9 trumpets, 6 saxophones, 1 bass clarinet, 15 clarinets, 12 flutes, and 11 percussionists. The students’ hard work and commitment paid off, and their performance left the audience impressed and entertained.

 Let’s see what people have to say!


“I think all of our hard work paid off when we played during the concert. All the different sections of the band sounded good together, ” 7th-grader Lucas Ha said. “Both 7th-grade band and 8th-grade jazz band performed well. The 8th-grade jazz band did well both when they were playing together and when people were doing solos. I think everyone did a really good job as performers and audience members. I don’t have any advice on what we could have done better.”


The concert began with an upbeat marching tune, “Omega March,” which was followed by the “Prehistoric Suite,” a piece that took the audience on a journey through time. The band’s performance was a testament to their hard work and dedication, as each note was played with precision and passion. The audience was captivated by students’ impressive skills captivated the audience as they played each piece with confidence and flair.

The student’s hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed, as many audience members were impressed with the band’s performance. 


“The Seventh Grade Band played two songs.  Omega March and Prehistoric Suite.  Marches are an important part of the history of band music so it is important to study them and learn the correct style.  Omega March is a great first march to learn as it has the basic elements of a march:  a rhythmic bass line, chromatic notes in the counter melodies, and a breaking strain with interesting chords and modulations. Prehistoric Suite invoices images of the majesty of dinosaurs.  The Pterodactyl movement has a beautiful melody that I never get tired of listening to.  I think the students probably enjoyed the last movement the best.  It depicts a battle between two dinosaurs.  The students got to improvise notes to create a chaotic atmosphere and depict the battle.  The students did a great job learning these pieces and sounded great.  I hope they enjoyed playing them,” said Band Director Jay Macarthur.


The 7th-grade band’s performance was a great example of the school’s commitment to music education and the development of young musicians. By providing opportunities for students to showcase their musical abilities, Clague Middle School is helping to cultivate a love for music in its students and foster a lifelong appreciation for the arts.


“I was expecting it to be very abstract and they delivered. I enjoyed everything — all the sounds of the clarinets to the triangle all helped me imagine the dinosaurs in the prehistoric suite. I think that jazz band was so good! I know personally it’s hard to improvise on the spot, so I’m super impressed by them.” 7th grader Annabella Mi said.


The 7th grade concert was a resounding success, showcasing the students’ impressive musical abilities and dedication to the craft. The students’ hard work and talent were on full display, leaving the audience impressed and entertained. It was a night to remember and a great example of the importance of music education in schools.


The 8th-grade jazz band is a group of highly passionate and talented musicians. They recently performed at Huron High School and enchanted the audience with their lively and fun tunes. The band members displayed perfect harmony and showcased their skills with impressive solos, leaving the audience tapping their feet and swaying to the music. Their performance was remarkable and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and students. 


The songs that the 8th-grade jazz band played were Swingin’ the Blues by Count Basie and It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing by Duke Ellington. Both songs were jazzy and had fun solos for everyone to do!


“The seventh and eighth-grade bands are both great to work with, but they are also two entirely different experiences.  The Seventh Grade Band meets in smaller sections (only 40 students!), so it lets me interact with the students and give a lot more individual help and track the students’ progress,” Band Director Jay MacArthur said. “Eighth Grade Band was accepted to perform at the state music conference in January, so they are on track to learn nine demanding pieces of music by January.  This is probably more music than we usually do in an entire year.  There are so many students in the class that it is a challenge to keep the personal connection going with each student.  On the other hand, it is great working together as a large team and accomplishing a lot.” 


In conclusion, the concert was an astounding success. 

If you want to add to the Concert Praise wall use this link!

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About the Contributors
Jay Tavane
Jay Tavane, Feature Editor
Jayani (Jay) is currently a 7th grader at Clague Middle School and this is her second year doing Cougar Star and yearbook. She likes to watch TV, eat food, sleep, draw, and go outside (not really) She plays the trumpet and is a part of Peer 2 Peer & BPA. She also has an older brother who is currently in 10th grade at Huron (Go River Rats!!!). She has 2 birds, 1 fish and she dreams about getting a husky.  
Saanvi Kulkarni
Saanvi Kulkarni, Staff Writer
Saanvi is a 7th grader at Clague Middle School. This is her first year doing yearbook/newspaper. In her free time, she likes to read, write stories, do karate and play piano, as well as hanging out with her friends. Also, she spends way too much time wishing for a pet.
Sophia Alison Rustia
Sophia Alison Rustia, Staff Writer
 Sophia is a 7th grader at Clague Middle School, and this is her first year doing newspaper and yearbook. In her free time, she likes to read, sleep ( a lot ), learn new piano pieces, bake, hang out with friends, and play with her dog, Holly, a miniature schnauzer.
Yuri Kim
Yuri Kim, Staff Writer
Yuri is currently 7th grader at Clague Middle School and this is her second year doing Cougar Star and Paw Prints. What she does in her free time is watching TV, going outside, and eating snacks. A fun fact about her is that she has 3 chickens for pets.

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