Big 9 Music Festival


Concert Choir sings with emotion

The Big 9 Festival is the oldest music festival of its kind in the United States. It is a special festival that showcases Select Ensembles, but it also includes the performances of every band, orchestra and choir during the day. Albert Lea, Austin, Faribault, Mankato East, Northfield, Red Wing, Rochester Century, Rochester John Marshall, Rochester Mayo, Winona and Mankato West participated in this year’s Big 9 music festival.Next year, the Music Festival will be held in Rochester in John Marshall’s High School. On May 1, the top groups of OHS ensembles, including Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir and Concert Band, performed at the Mankato West High School. The OHS orchestra performed The Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss and Finlandia by Sibelius, which they have been practicing since March 5th. Orchestra director, Sandra Justice said, “The orchestra did a fantastic job. I am so proud of the work they did and how they pulled through.” As for concert choir, the group sang Hosanna to David by Orlando Gibbons, Beati quorum via by Charles Stanford, Woodpecker, and Wayfaring Stranger. Choir director, Christopher Harris said, “The work ethic were excellent and I felt like we were really well prepared.” The Concert Band performed Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein, Louvre by Norman Dello Joio and Elixir by Michael Markowski. Band director, Peter Guenther said. “It is where everyone brings their ‘A Game’. It is a privilege to be able to perform there every year.” Preparing for the performances required a lot of work. Hard work was a big part with the students practicing on their own time and listening to their songs on recordings. Harris said, “Plus, we brushed up on what we did with the pieces we did at the beginning of the year.”  Tempo was also big part of the rehearsals and matching the tone was another part. Justice said, “It was a great experience. I am proud of all three groups that went to Big 9.” Coming up next in the music department is the Pops concert on May 19, in the OHS gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. Pops in the biggest concert during the year with choreography and modern songs. The cost to get in is $5. Get there early before seats are gone and support our music program.