NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
June 16, 2015 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Chaparral wind ensemble plays Kennedy Center
DIAMOND BAR, CA—The Chaparral Middle School Wind Ensemble performed during the John Philip Sousa Band Festival at the renowned Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
The 40-member group was one of only four bands from across the country and the only middle school invited to celebrate the music of the “March King” during the May 31 concert.
The ensemble presented Sea Song Trilogy, Tame the Savage Sea, and Fairest of the Fair under the direction of Leslie Schroerlucke.
Students also debuted Memories of the March King, a three-movement piece by Dr. Buddy Clements, instrumental music director at Walnut High.
Music Celebrations International hosted the inaugural Sousa festival.
“It was an amazing trip! Students definitely rose to the challenge and played better than I had ever heard them,” Schroerlucke commented.
The Chaparral musicians impressed the 1,000-member audience who showed their appreciation with a rousing standing ovation.
“We had many people stop us afterward and comment that they couldn’t believe we were a middle school band!” the Diamond Bar director recalled.
“It was a thrill to play on a national stage with so much history,” she added. The ensemble also shared the dressing room once occupied by legendary conductors Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.
Additional highlights of the trip included a clinic with conductor Anthony Maiello at George Mason University, a U.S. Marine Band concert, and a wreath laying ceremony at the gravesite of John Philip Sousa in the Congressional Cemetery.
Students enjoyed sightseeing at historical monuments and Smithsonian museums.
The Chaparral Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Leslie Schroerlucke, took the stage at the Kennedy Center during the John Philip Sousa Festival in Washington D.C.
Chaparral Wind Ensemble gathered at the Kennedy Center’s Hall of Nations.
Chaparral students pose in front of the White House during a sightseeing excursion.