Campus Crier

D.C trip a whirlwind for WJE and Wind Symphony, culminates in President’s Cup

“The performance at Union Station was unforgettable; the crowd was going wild ... It was really neat to look out into the crowd and see people dancing and just enjoying the music and the energy, and the performers definitely fed off of the crowd." -Senior Morgan Rogers

Samantha Johnson

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Just two weeks ago, the BSHS Wind Symphony packed their checks and carry-ons for Washington, D.C.. While the trip was all business, students and staff had time to enjoy themselves in the nation’s capital. Just after landing, they loaded up the charter buses and spent several hours at the National Mall and Smithsonian exhibits.

“It took me a while to fully realize the significance of where I was. I knew I was in Washington D.C., but actually being able to explore the Smithsonian museums felt like a dream,” senior Morgan Rogers said.

On Apr. 10, members of the Wildcat Jazz Ensemble prepared for their performances outside of the U.S.S. Constellation. Due to wind, WJE members and crew were forced to cancel their set in Baltimore.

“Baltimore was definitely one of the toughest days for crew, because of the weather and the multiple performances we had to unload and set up and then tear it all back down multiple times. It was definitely a difficult task, especially with it being so crowded,” senior crew member Mandi Brown said.

Regardless of their setback at the harbor, WJE had an electrifying performance inside of Union Station later that evening.

“The performance at Union Station was unforgettable; the crowd was going wild for the more popular charts like ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain.’ It was really neat to look out into the crowd and see people dancing and just enjoying the music and the energy, and the performers definitely fed off of the crowd,” Rogers said.

Back to business, Wind Symphony prepared for their performance by attending a master class with former members of U.S. military bands the next morning.

“I learned a lot about the time and effort professional musician put into what they do. Hearing them talk about learning entire pieces of music on their own really gave me an appreciation for (being able to) slow things down (with Dr. A),” sophomore Kendall Kleoppel said.

The full ensemble was grateful to rehearse with both the former military musicians and the former colonel of Pershing’s Own (the president’s band).

“Working with the colonel was a once in a lifetime opportunity; the energy and passion he has was incredible. And he holds so much authority that everyone just listens,” Brown said.

Following their jaw-dropping performance on Friday morning, BSHS musicians dressed to the nines to attend the President’s Cup ceremony that evening. Three Wind Symphony members (seniors Morgan Rogers, Tyler Dye and junior Samuel Stiles) were invited to perform on-stage with the current Pershing’s Own ensemble.

“Performing with the Pershing’s Own was a very unique experience. The percussionists in the band were very laid back and they were supportive of me actually playing the main percussion part. I felt super comfortable with them, and we all enjoyed playing with each other,” Rogers said.

After Pershing’s Own’s crowd engaging performance, the BSHS musicians were thrilled to learn they had won the President’s Cup. Students stood and gave one another hugs to end the victorious night.

“When they announced our name, my heart stopped. I couldn’t believe that we had really done it. I had told myself on the days I didn’t want to go in early or stay for hours after school that I would be thanking myself for it (in D.C.), and in that moment, it was like everything we had done had paid off,” Kleoppel said.

With a final send-off, Wind Symphony spent their last day watching WJE in front of the capitol building.

“My favorite part about performing in front of the capitol building was how much fun I had. The place we performed at (in front of the reflecting pool) was beautiful, and I got to do what I love the most in front of the capital,” Rogers said.

Next up for WJE is Evening of Jazz tomorrow at 7 p.m. and Afternoon of Jazz on Sunday, Apr. 28 at 2 p.m.. Wind Symphony will host the Senior Farewell Concert on Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m..

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D.C trip a whirlwind for WJE and Wind Symphony, culminates in President’s Cup