Submitted by Cary Dingel
Plumas Unified School District
Nearly 200 band students from across the county arrived at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds on June 6 to play music together at the Plumas County Schools Music Festival. Players of each instrument met in small groups to learn from an instructor, then rehearsed together in the elementary or high school band in preparation for the day’s end concert for parents and community. Special music clinics like African drums, jazz saxophone, and bass guitar rounded out the day’s activities.
Every corner of the fairgrounds seemed to hold a group of students gathered around an instructor, from the Mineral Building porch to the shade under a tree near Old Town. Fifth- and sixth-graders held impromptu saxophone recitals while waiting for lunch, and high school students worked their way through a few of the pieces they would perform later that day. The theme from Star Wars echoed out of the Tulsa Scott building while percussionists practiced their drum rolls in the shade of the Serpilio Hall.
Parents, guardians, and the public were invited to the afternoon performance, which featured a John Philips Sousa piece, a heart-felt rendition of “Homeward Bound” as well as the more familiar sounds of the Star Wars theme and “We Will Rock You,” by Brian May.
Huge thanks to Plumas Unified School District music teacher Jane Brown, as well as our site music teachers Maria Popish (Portola High School), Marsha Roby (Chester High School), Eliza Hardee (Quincy High School), and Noah Hardee (Quincy High School) for all they do to support music education in Plumas County, as well as to the music clinicians Dr. Mark Satterfield, Saxophone and Jazz Workshop; Brandon Dodge, Percussion and African Drumming; Jim Norman, Percussion and Jazz Piano; Chris Retallack, Jazz and Electric Bass; Maria Popish, Flutes; Marsha Roby, Clarinets; Kim Retallack, Saxophones; Noah Hardee, Trumpets; Eliza Hardee, Low Brass and Horns; and Advanced Band Guest Conductor Jeff Stratton.
Special thanks to all those who plan and coordinate complex events like this one: Bob Buchanan, John Steffanic, Plumas County Office of Education and Kristy Warren, Theresa Belsher-Howe and our bus drivers, Grandma Jane’s Bakery, and our principals and administrative assistants.