LOHS and WCHS take home trophies from OSAA music competitions

Lake Oswego area students honored their high school music programs with strong performances at state band and choir competitions earlier this month.

Lake Oswego High School’s wind ensemble landed second place in the 6A division during the Oregon School Activities Association state band championships on May 11 at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego High School wind ensemble snagged first place at the Oregon School Activities Association state band championships.

Lakeridge High School’s band also was among the 24 top-tier groups that performed in the 6A SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Lakeridge Wind Ensemble was one of an elite selection of groups that qualified to perform at the OSAA Championships in Corvallis.

Westside Christian High School students triumphed in the OSAA 3A division state choir competition May 9 at George Fox University in SUBMITTED PHOTO - Westside Christian High School students have snagged first place in the OSAA 3A division state choir competition for seven consecutive years.

“After coming out of the performance, we knew that we had played well,” said Lake Oswego High senior Dev Bhargava, who is the wind ensemble’s French horn section leader. “It was not that we had played technically perfectly, but we knew we had put a lot of emotion into the performance. When we got our score, I speak for everyone when I say that we were shocked.”

Lake Oswego High Band Director Dave Matthys said he would be proud of his students even if they hadn’t placed.

“The placing doesn’t really matter,” Matthys said. “It’s that the kids played so well on stage and the excitement on their faces when they came off.”

The Lakers wind ensemble got a standing ovation from the audience, a gathering mostly composed of the ensemble’s competitors.

“I think this is a dream come true for this band,” said Mitu Bhargava, Dev Bhargava’s mother. “Mr. Matthys is just an amazing leader. He’s able to coax the best from our kids.”

It is the second time in the last five years that Lake Oswego High’s wind ensemble has garnered second place.

It is the seventh consecutive win for Westside Christian’s choir. Westside trounced five other 3A choirs with a 14-point lead.

“I stress the importance of carefully interpreting and expressing each song and focusing on the details,” Westside Choir Director Will Fox said.

Lakeridge band parent Caroline Abbott said the whole Pacer community was proud of its students for being able to compete at such a high level. Many parents traveled to hear the band play, and they all thought it was the best they had heard the group perform, Abbott said. She said the band program grew this year and is expected to expand next year as well.

“The musicianship and professionalism the band now displays is due to the hard work and dedication of Band Director Corey Alston as well as many hours of practice from the students,” Abbott said.

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