By Staff Writers Ella Chen & Hana Sheikh
MSJ and Parents of Universal Performers held the Australia Invitation Ceremony on November 17 in C-120. At the ceremony, Executive Director of Youth Music of the World Robert Bone presented Band and Orchestra with official invitations to perform in Australia at the Royale Sydney Easter Show and the Bendigo Easter Festival in April 2017.
In Bone’s address to the audience, he praised the students for their musical abilities and high caliber of performance. He introduced the organization, Youth Music of the World, which made MSJ’s band trips possible by connecting school music programs with potential foreign festivals and shows. For instance, in the 2014-15 school year, Band and Orchestra travelled to Europe to perform in Paris, France and Maastricht, Holland. Bone presented framed letters from Sydney and Bendigo to officially welcome and invite the students to the upcoming festivals in April. He also highlighted the trip itinerary, which included visiting famous attractions such as Sydney Opera House and the Old Melbourne Gaol.
The opening ceremony commenced with Student Trip Coordinator Junior Elvin Huang giving opening remarks and welcoming the guests. Then, Marching Band entered the auditorium playing “Drum Cadence” by Cassidy Byars and Bill Flaherty. MSJ Color Guard joined in at the front of the stage as the band transitioned into “Boys of the Old Brigade” by W. Paris Chambers. Drum Major Junior Alexandra Spencer introduced the guests present, including FUSD School Board Member Ann Crosbie, Fremont City Councilmember Rick Jones, and FUSD Assistant Superintendent Raul Zamora.
After a performance by Orchestra, Huang and Spencer invited the guests up individually to speak. MSJ Band Teacher Monica Kraft and Principal Zack Larsen both gave speeches on behalf of MSJ to formally accept the invitations from the two Australian cities and commend the students on their achievements.
To conclude the ceremony, Orchestra performed “Orion and the Scorpion” by Soon Hee Newbold, and MSJ Marching Band and Color Guard played “Dancing in the Street” arranged by Tim Waters. Spencer gave concluding remarks and invited the guests and students to a reception in the B-Wing cafeteria.
After the ceremony Larsen said, “As usual, I was blown away with the talent of the Orchestra and Marching Band. It’s a surprise to me that cities in Australia are reaching out to MSJ to have our talented student visit and perform. I wish I could join them in April.”
At the reception, Spencer led a cake cutting ceremony, and refreshments and snacks were offered. During the reception, Kraft said, “I’m really proud of my students. We’ve been working really hard and the invitation is another chronicle of our achievements.”
Photo by Staff Writer Ella Chen