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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Chaparral Orchestra Marks 10th Anniversary of 911

NEWS                                                               Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        880 S. Lemon Avenue
September 13, 2011                                      Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

Chaparral Orchestra Marks 10th Anniversary of 911

DIAMOND BAR, CA-- On Monday, September 12, the Chaparral Middle School 8th grade Sinfonia orchestra hosted a 7 p.m. tribute concert to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 911.  The group of 107 musicians is under the direction of Greg Rochford. 

On this 10th anniversary, we decided to do something for those who lost their lives.
We talked about the fact that they these students were only about three years old when this happened and they don’t have a memory about what a major tragic event it was in our history. It is important that these kids learn about it, he said.

“I talked to them about the importance of remembering and that hopefully they will not experience anything like this again, “ he said. Students also talked and watched videos about 911 in their social studies and advocacy classes to gain a better understanding.

With only six rehearsals, the talented string ensemble played The Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, A Time for Us, Honor and Glory, and America the Beautiful.

“This concert is a memorial to thousands of people that lost their lives ten years ago,” Rochford said. 

A moment of silence was observed in their honor.

“It means a lot to play tonight because we get to honor and remember those who were lost, those innocent lives, and then those who sacrificed their lives, and the firefighters who sacrificed their lives to save others. It’s a big honor,” said 8th grade bass player Sean Hiroshige.

“I hope we’re honoring them even by a little.  They deserve so much honor and I hope this consoles their families and the victims’ families and loved ones,” said 8th grade violinist Betty Kim.

Current and retired law enforcement, firefighters, medical personnel, and military personnel were invited to the concert. The audience and musicians applauded as several honorees in attendance stood as they were recognized and thanked for their dedicated service. 

“It’s a real good thing for the kids to understand what happened to our country. I think it’s a great tribute and good for America to stay strong and for kids to understand that we need to stick together and support each other,”said Captain Jim Wheeler from fire station #120.

In addition, the concert featured two special guest performers: Scott Walton, detective with the Los Angeles Police Department and Fred McDowell, engineer with the Costa Mesa Fire Department. 

Before the concert, McDowell in his dress uniform showed students the bugle he would be playing was made sometime after 1894 and bore a U.S. Military marking.

“It may have been played by a soldier, sailor or marine. There a lot of history here,” he said.

“Whenever it’s honoring a fallen on 911, I’m on board,” said Walton who wore a traditional Irish kilt while playing the bagpipes for the event.

Before the finale, Rochford read a quote from Leonard Bernstein, composer and conductor of the New York Philharmonic, “This will be our reply to violence - to make music more intently, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

“So, this is our musical gift to the memory of people that lost their lives ten years ago,” Rochford said.


Chaparral cello players played during the concert

Director Greg Rochford flanked by guest performers Scott Walton, detective with the Los Angeles Police Department and Fred McDowell, engineer with the Costa Mesa Fire Department and the Chaparral 8th grade Sinfonia Orchestra.

Chaparral’s Sinfonia Orchestra performed a 911 tribute concert.