The Silent Success Of The Pasco High Band Program


From Vancouver to Ellensburg to Yakima and of course the Tri-Cities the Pasco High band has gone to many places and have had many great performances that have gone pretty much unnoticed by everyone not in or associated with the band program.

Starting from the beginning of the school year

It started off with the marching bands first season competing since 2019. Their show theme was The Birth Of Planet Earth, that show theme won them first place in the “AA” division at Cavalcade 2022 in Kennewick. On top of first place in the division they also won best brass and wind, best percussion, best visual, and best general effect all while placing fifth overall in the competition. The next competition took the marching band to Yakima for the Fall Harvest Festival 2022, it was another great performance by the marching band once again earning first place in the “AA” division and won third place overall at the festival. The marching band also one five other awards best brass and wind, best percussion, best marching, best auxiliary, and best general effect.

Outside of competitions the marching band also played at every home game for the Pasco High varsity football team playing the national anthem before every game and fun short tunes between downs and timeouts they also ran their show during halftime, and they always brought the energy when no one else would. It was a great season for the marching band after a few years of not competing they came back stronger than ever thanks to their amazing players, staff, and band directors.

After the marching band season came to an end it was time for the fall concerts for all bands. The first night of concerts took place on November 8th, 2022, and it included Freshmen band, Symphonic band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble 1, Percussion Ensemble 2, and Mcloughlin middle school with some Wind Ensemble members sitting in with their band. The second night of concerts took place on November 10, 2022, it included Jazz band 1 and Jazz band 2.

Winter Jazz events (November-January)

The next band event was a jazz festival that happened on November 19, 2022, at Chiawana high school where both Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 played and listened to a lot of other schools’ jazz bands and got to hear the Isolation Big Band. After that on December 13th, 2022, both Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 did a holiday tour and played for students at elementary and middles schools. On January 20th and 21st 2023, a small jazz combo of jazz 1 players were invited to play before in between and after the school play.

Regional Solo and Ensemble

On January 28th, 2023, Solo and Ensemble took place at Chiawana high school, every member in the Wind ensemble participated in this event performing solos and some forming small groups to play in front of judges for a chance to make it to the state Solo and Ensemble at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. Our players represented Pasco Highs music program very well winning the highest number of categories out of every high school the participated and scored highest in eight different categories.

Jazz Dessert Night

On February 6th, 2023, the Pasco High jazz program held a dessert auction fundraiser. One group of players from Jazz band 2 and all the players of Jazz band 1 split up into their own combo groups and played 3 songs each, there was a total of 5 combos for people to listen to and enjoy. While the jazz music was playing in the background the people attended the event could enjoy the free desserts made by some of the band students and they could also bid on different desserts and other prizes in a silent auction, some of the other prize options to bid on was for the opportunity to conduct one of the songs that the Wind Ensemble will play at their final concert, another one of the more popular prizes was the opportunity to throw a pie in the face of one of the Pasco High band directors Mr. Cornell or Mr. Edwards. The most popular prize to bid on was the opportunity to throw a pie in the face of the former band director Matt Larsen.

Pep Band

While all the other band events were happening between November-February the Pasco High Pep Band was also working hard preparing songs for the basketball season. The Pep Band began practice in the beginning of November and supported both varsity teams throughout the season playing at all home game double headers and always being loud and cheering on the teams. The Pep Band season concluded on February 7th, 2023, with a senior recognition night at the last home basketball game. Before the final girls’ varsity game tipped off all seniors from the girls’ basketball team and all seniors from the Pep Band were called down to the center of the gym where they had their names called and took a picture with their parents and fellow seniors. The Pep Bands drumline was also included with the dance team’s routine and was able to go to districts at Pasco High School and to the state championship in Yakima where they won first place in Hip Hop and Show.

Winter concerts

In late February and early March, the winter concerts took place for the two jazz band classes and the three concert band classes. The first concert was a jazz concert in the Pasco High auditorium that happened on February 28th, 2023, and it featured both Jazz Band 2 and Jazz Band 1 and they each played 3 songs. The second concert that happened on March 7th, 2023, it was a longer concert that featured Percussion 2, Percussion 1, Freshmen Band, Symphonic Band, and the Wind Ensemble. The percussion classes played two songs each and all the concert bands each played three songs, all the bands put on great performances for everyone who attended the concert.

Wind Ensemble Events (March)

March was a busy month for the Wind Ensemble, before the home concert at Pasco High they did some traveling and went back to Ellensburg for CWU Windfest on March 3rd, 2023, playing three songs in front a lot of other Washington high schools and a panel of judges. After Windfest the Wind Ensemble returned for the home concert previously mentioned and began to prepare for the next trip. Ten days after the home concert, on March 17th, 2023, the Wind Ensemble loaded everything onto a bus and they were on their way to Vancouver, but the bus broke down between Kennewick and Umatilla and they had to wait an hour for a new bus to arrive. After the travel difficulties when the band finally arrived in Vancouver, they went to Union High school along with Chiawana to play for and receive a clinic from Larry Gookin who is a great band teacher and performer. After the clinic, the Wind Ensemble went to their hotel to rest and get ready for the Music For All Affiliate Regional Music Festival at Mountain View High School the next day. At the Music For All Festival Pasco High’s Wind Ensemble turned a lot of heads receiving lots of good feedback, the Wind Ensembles band director Tanner Cornell his players that some other band directors that he looks up too told that this is the best Pasco band that they have seen in a long time. After the Music For All Festival in Vancouver the next performance for the Wind Ensemble was headlining the Regional High School Band Festival at Kennewick High School on March 23rd, 2023, this event also featured the Symphonic Band and the Freshmen Band. The festival went great for all three bands, the Wind Ensemble was missing a few players for this performance but still earned a superior rating from the judges. The Symphonic Band also received a superior rating, and the Freshmen Band received an excellent rating.

More Jazz Events (April)

On April 15th, 2023, Pasco Highs Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 went to Columbia Basin College for the CBC Jazz Unlimited Festival. Jazz 2 played first; they played three songs then after a few other bands played it was time for Jazz 1 to play they also played three songs. Both bands played great and earned a total of nine outstanding soloist awards. The next performance for Jazz 1 was opening for the Isolation Big Band at the Emerald of Siam where they played four songs on April 19th, 2023. One week after that on April 26th, 2023, Jazz 1 band director Mr. Edwards send a combo group of six players back to the Emerald of Siam where they played four new songs for their High School Jazz Combo Night.

State Solo and Ensemble

7 On April 28th and 29th, 2023 State Solo and Ensemble took place at Central Washington University. Pasco High had two groups and five soloists perform at State Solo and Ensemble. All the performers did great, and our Percussion Ensemble 1 won third place in the state.

Back to CWU (May)

Not long after State Solo and Ensemble on May 5th, 2023, both jazz bands headed back to Central Washington University for their Jazz festival. Jazz band 1 played first in the morning in the concert hall they played three songs. After Jazz 1 was finished with their performance and clinic it was time for Jazz 2 to perform, they played in the recital hall and played three

songs. After both bands performed, they were able to listen to many other jazz bands from around the state as well as CWU’s Jazz 2 and their Jazz 1 and also the guest musician John Clayton who is one of the best bass players ever and has played in the Count Basie Orchestra.

Upcoming Performances

The upcoming performances for the Pasco High band program are the final concerts of the year and they will all be played in the Pasco High auditorium. Like all the other home concerts this year there will be two nights of concerts, the first night will be on May 30th, 2023, and will feature Percussion 1 and 2, Freshmen Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. For the last song of the night all bands and percussion ensembles will be combined to perform “Arabian Dances” by Brian Balmages. The second night of concerts will be on June 2nd, 2023, and will feature Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 who will each play three songs and will combine together for the final song and play ‘Chameleon” by Herbie Hancock.