Bear Creek Upper School Band wins big at Instrumental Festival

Scott Higbee directs the Upper School Band at The Bear Creek School in Redmond

The Upper School Band from The Bear Creek School in Redmond won in the large school category at the ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) High School Instrumental Festival, held earlier this month at Northwest University in Kirkland.

The festival was attended by Christian high schools from throughout Washington and Oregon.

Directed by Scott Higbee, the Bear Creek students were honored to give a command performance at the conclusion of the competition.

“This was the first time we’ve done this festival,” Higbee noted.

The Bear Creek School performed a Sousa piece and one based on a melody by King Henry VIII. All participating schools rehearsed the same three pieces to be performed “en masse” and each chose one of those pieces and one of their own for adjudication.

Twenty five students from grades 9-12 are currently enrolled in the Upper School Band at The Bear Creek School. The school requires one semester of fine arts credit for graduation, but students in the music ensembles commit to a full year “to keep a steady base,” Higbee said.

In addition to concert music, the band students learn pep tunes to play at athletic events, assemblies and open houses, he said. At least one or two each year go on to college music programs, although the goal “is not to create future musicians but to encourage them to participate, throughout life, in community or church music programs,” said Higbee.

The week before the ACSI festival, “we were in Spokane for the state basketball championships,” so it’s been an exciting time for the young musicians, he said.

Tenth grader Joy Twentyman, who plays tuba, and 12th grader Joel Smith, whose instrument is tenor saxophone, said they like playing pop material like “Enter Sandman,” “Soul Bossa Nova” (the Austin Powers theme) and “The Final Countdown” but find traditional music enjoyable, too.

Playing in the school band “is a lot of fun with little work,” said Smith. “It’s a nice break during the school day.”

During a visit from the Redmond Reporter, on March 23, the students sight-read a rousing composition called “Torrents of Fire” and a lilting rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

With the school year winding down, they’re preparing to perform at commencement and in a concert that is open to the public, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 29 at The Bear Creek School, 8905 208th Ave. NE in Redmond. For more information, call (425) 898-1720 or visit www.tbcs.org.

More in Life

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo 
                                Panko enjoying Redmond’s annual Winter Festival on Dec. 7.
A weekend of Redmond Lights

Redmond celebrated its annual winter festival.

Dora Gyarmati. Photo by Nityia Photography
Three simple rules for the holiday

A monthly column about mindfulness.

Photo courtesy of Help Hungry Kids! GoFundMe campaign 
                                Barrett Rugge created a GoFundMe campaign after he realized that students at Clara Barton Elementary often didn’t have access to snacks throughout the day.
Redmond student raises funds for hungry kids

Barrett Rugge started a GoFundMe to help Clara Barton students have snacks throughout the day.

Photo courtesy of Neelam Chahlia 
                                The Redmond City Council recognized Neelam Chahlia’s participation in the Mrs. America contest as Mrs. Washington at its Nov. 19 meeting.
Redmond council recognizes Chalia’s participation in the Mrs. America contest

The Mrs. Washington winner was recognized at the Nov. 19 city council meeting.

Photo courtesy of The Bear Creek School 
                                Bear Creek National Honor Society students from left, Kate McDonough, Chuck McDonough, James Wadhwani, Tyler Doyle, Benjamin Ferreira, Kathryn Sutherland, Ryan Bracewell, Nelson Sun and Annemarie Mullet delivered food donations to the Hopelink food bank in Redmond.
Bear Creek food drive brings in six and a half tons of food

The school’s National Honor Society chapter organized the drive and the food was donate to Hopelink.

For veterans, there’s no better cause to push than helping other vets

Jim Curtis and Mark Gorman are two of many veteran advocates on the Eastside.

Fairwinds-Redmond to honor veterans

WWII veterans Morten Joslin and Nick Nichols share their stories.

Alejandro, 6, and Elizabeth, 8, Camacho from Woodinville with their sugar skulls at the Día de los Muertos event on Nov. 2 at the Centro Cultural Mexicano in Redmond. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond celebrates Día de los Muertos

The Day of the Dead event celebrates the lives of departed loved ones.

From left: National Merit Scholarship semifinalists Rita Luk, Lauren Shen, Nelson Sun and commended students Andrew Hom and Matthew Jensen. Courtesy photo of Bear Creek School
Three Bear Creek School students named National Merit semifinalists

Two more students were recognized as national commended students.

The team that created Vitality, the first-prize winning app. Courtesy photo
DelBene hosts annual app-a-thon for local students

Students from Redmond place in competition.

Staying fit through the holidays

It is possible to train yourself to exercise as part of who you are.

In 1967 Nokomis Club of Redmond sponsored a tea at the local branch of the King County Library system to commemorate National Library Week. Photo courtesy of Redmond Historical Society Facebook
110 years of community investment

The Nokomis club celebrates their 110th Anniversary.