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 Westview GOLD Symphonic Band

 Westview GOLD Orchestra and Color Guard

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February 27, 2013

Dear Jeri:

On February 20, 2013, the Westview GOLD High School Orchestra and the Westview High School GOLD Symphonic Band performed in Carnegie Hall at the eleventh annual New York Wind Band Festival. I know I speak for the large crowd in attendance when I tell you that the performance of each of your groups was nothing short of stunning and inspirational, as evidenced by the enthusiastic reception you received from the audience and the high scores from the three adjudicators, including me.

As the Artistic Director for the Festival I want to thank you for sharing your incredible ensembles with all of us. Your orchestra’s performance of John Barnes Chance’s Variations on a Korean Folk Song was very special to me because I had worked with the students earlier in the day on that piece. What a beautiful performance of this one-of-a-kind work. The group’s performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams organ work Rhosymedre was an extraordinary feature for your string section. They did a splendid job. After going to the NY Met. on Monday evening to hear Parsifal, I was really into the Michael Mogensen Quest for the Grail. The sonorous grandeur of this piece filled the hall and was a very special moment in your program.

All of the faculty members were highly impressed with the mature sounds of the GOLD Symphonic Band. I’m a great fan of Johan de Meij and I thought that Paul Lavender’s arrangement of excerpts from Lord of the Rings was performed very well. The arrangement is no easier than the original, however, and the band played it with great excitement and energy. It really danced.  I’m also a fan of John Mackey and enjoyed the whirlwind of color and brilliance you achieved in his challenging Strange Humors. John went to school just a few block from Carnegie Hall. This was a true test of the ensemble’s musicianship.

There was no doubt that evening that we were hearing one of the finest high school instrumental music programs in the nation.

Thanks, Jeri. You are an incredible conductor and teacher. I am confident that your students appreciate what you are doing for them. Thank you for helping to make this festival a huge success. Well, it’s over, and now you have some very special memories. I am confident that you and your students will be sharing those memories with grandchildren.

With Admiration,
William V. Johnson, Professor of Music, Emeritus
Cal Poly State University
Artistic Director, New York Wind Band Festival
cc. Todd Cassen, Principal
Ms.Deborah Gibbs, CEO, World Projects
Mr. Dana Luikart, World Projects