Performing pieces in various genres, high school outpaces second-place finisher Mazama by 39 points

Gladstone High School's Symphonic Band won this year's 4A State Championship on May 12, outpacing second-place finisher Mazama High School by 39 points.COURTESY PHOTO: GLADSTONE SCHOOL DISTRICT - Band Director Seth Arnold led the Gladstone High School Symphonic Band to a first-place finish at the state band competition in Corvallis.

Judges lauded the band for its expressive phrasing and sensitivity, confident and clear technique, superb collaboration and skill in sight reading.

The band performed pieces from different musical genres, including "American Riversongs" by Pierre Laplante, "The Willow Tree" by Pádraigín Máire Ní Uallacháin, "Cumberland Cross" by Carl Strommen, "Variations on Scarborough Fair" by Calvin Custer and "Scramble" by Todd Stalter.

"This is a huge win for us," said band director Seth Arnold. "Our seniors were the first sixth graders I ever taught. We started this journey together and in a lot of ways have grown up together. This isn't just the result of a single year's work, it's the culmination of years and years of work. COURTESY PHOTO: GLADSTONE SCHOOL DISTRICT - Band Director Seth Arnold holds the statewide trophy surrounded by the senior members of the Gladstone High School Symphonic Band.

"Last year, as hard as I tried to foster relationships over Zoom, our connection as a community suffered," he added. "This year, as classroom learning resumed, we've rebuilt that community spirit we were missing by performing in real concerts and having fun in pep band. There are not many programs that came back from COVID bigger and better, so this win is a testament to the hard work these kids have put in."

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