Concert Band Update – 14.11.2018

December 7th, 2018. As well as the 77th anniversary for the attack on Pearl Harbor, it’s also the date of the OSC Winter Gala. The Winter Gala serves as the halfway checkpoint for our journey as a band, and it’s approaching surprisingly fast. The practices which seemingly feel like forever in them are flying by as far as the calendar goes, and we can only hope to be ready in time. As well as that, it’s somewhat more of a struggle for me to return to euphonium than I thought after a year of tuba. While the fingerings of both instruments are the same, they are very different, mainly in size. Here’s a brief comparison:

(Me playing my euphonium, a few days ago)

(me playing my double b flat tuba, about a year ago)

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In case you doubt, here’s a comparison of the mouth pieces(order is tuba, euphonium, trumpet)

The Winter Gala is on our minds, but the Concert Band has also been up to some other fun things. For starters, we learned and played the national anthem for the Founder’s Day celebration in September, and people from the Band are starting to get assigned to other acts preforming in the Gala as backup musicians. A few of the trumpets have been auctioned off already, I’m wondering if I’ll go somewhere as well. Going back to the founders day event, it went OK. The timeframe we had to work on it was limited, along with our practice together. I think that in the future for this kind of thing, we should alot more rehearsal time to it, as the problems stemmed not from people not knowing their parts, but people not sure of how to integrate their parts correctly into the rest of the band. This lead to some confusion, especially with our drummer and violins who had bad habits of getting off beat just enough to where it was noticeable. I tried my best to help the drummer, as he was the one near me, by tapping my foot exaggeratedly so that he could see and trying to play my part loudly in beat to assist, but it didn’t work to well. My parts were fine, and I was good with them, but because of the role a euphonium plays, I couldn’t do a huge amount. As a low brass instrument, the role you play is more of a supportive one, and in this song I never had the melody meaning I could never play loud enough to reach all the people who were off beat.  

Anyways, there’s a lot more to come for concert band, especially as we get closer to Gala. I’ll make sure to keep that updated for you all, as I think it’s going to be really fun, regardless how it goes.

SAISA Swimming 2018

Well, it finally happened.

SAISA Swimming came and went in 3 short days, ending the swim season with a bang. While it was short, and everyone is all quite sad it’s over, it sure was worth the effort. My relationships and interactions with everyone on the team were deepened, and I think that we all became pretty good friends. From traveling to Jordan excited and nervous, to spending all day on the pool deck together, and to riding the bus back from the airport exhausted, I was getting to know everyone better.

The layout of SAISA swimming can be confusing, but I’ll try and explain it here. For starters, there are 6 age groups. Girls 10-12, boys 10-12, girls 13-14, boys 13-14, girls 15-19, and boys 15-19. The events occur in that order, with 15-19 boys going last.For most events at SAISA swimming, there are the prelims(preliminary heats) and finals. Prelims are the heats in which you must be entered in to have a chance at getting to finals. There are usually 4 heats of prelims, making a total of 16 people. Points are not counted in prelims, and the 12 fastest times in prelims make finals. Finals are the heats in which points are earned, where there are two heats, and a maximum of 12 points to earn(for the first place swimmer). However, not every event has finals, as some would be very difficult to swim again(eg.100 fly), so you only have one chance to do well. I personally made finals in 100 freestyle and the 50 butterfly.

I swam the following events and got the following times: (prelims/finals)

100 Butterfly: 1:14.4

100 Freestyle(made finals): 1:05.3/1:04.6

50 Butterfly (in the 200 medley relay): 31.49

200 Freestyle: 2:22.32

50 Butterfly(made finals): 32.56/32.88

Overall, OSC placed 3rd. 10-12 girls came first and 10-12 boys came second. 13-14 girls came second and 13-14 boys came third. Finally, 15-19 girls came third and 15-19 boys(my category) came first. We were all quite happy with the results, as it was a close race and the top 4 places were very close to each other.

(Left: Boys 15-19 Right: OSC)

(Photos taken by ACS)

For my first SAISA, I was very happy with how it went. I genuinely enjoyed every single part of it, from screaming my throat out on the pool deck in Amman, to helping to drag half-dead team members through the Jordan airport, it was great. I’d gladly do it again(I think nearly everyone on the team would), and I can’t wait for SAISA swimming 2019.