Time to Say Goodbye: DHS Band and Orchestra Performs at Heartwarming Last Concert

Ashley Kim and Emily Ellis

On May 15, 2017, the band and orchestra performed at their last concert with Mr. Everts as their director. In late April, Mr. Everts announced his resignation from Dublin’s band program and his decision to be the band director at a school with a smaller band program in Northern California. His students had mixed reactions about this controversial announcement, ranging from disappointment to apprehension to excitement for the new year.


Although it was Mr. Everts’ last concert, he made sure to focus on the graduating senior class of 2017 and the rest of his students. The class of 2017 was the largest class of seniors that Mr. Everts had taught in his entire nine– year career at Dublin High School. Mr. Everts promised that he would stay with them until their senior year. This promise led the concert to be incredibly emotional as Mr. Everts and the seniors reflected on their last few years in band.


As a senior saxophone player and color guard member, Kyle Koch resonated with these feelings. “The concert was very emotional. It was nice to look back on the year and to embrace the changes to come in the future,” said Koch.


The night began with the happy announcement of a check for ten thousand dollars presented to the Dublin High School Music Boosters by Mr. Haggerty. The seniors then gave a signed photo frame to Mrs. Rosemary Brassea, a band mom who had dedicated countless hours of time and hard work in making this band the best it could be. Affectionately known as the “uniform lady,” Mrs. Brassea fit every student and ironed every uniform, helping the band look their best. She also planned several key fundraisers and supported all of the students at every football game and competition. Handling the behind-the-scenes work is difficult, and everyone in the band felt that Mrs. Brassea was essential to their success these past years.


Shortly after, the winter percussion ensemble performed their show entitled “Fade In, Fade Out”. An elegant visual aesthetic and invigorating rhythms made this fantastic show earn first place at the NCPA championships. Freshman and auxiliary player Silvia Xiao said, “I liked performing the show for one last time. We did pretty well!”


The color guard then performed their winter show “Bound to You”, set to the ballad by pop artist Christina Aguilera. Their creative use of props, choreography, and excellent execution also led this dream team to earn first place at the CCGC championships. The color guard also has a lot of talent! Senior Kyle Koch, senior Juliana Koch, and junior Kayla Dow are also members of Santa Clara Vanguard, one of the world’s top drum corps. Many of the color guard members stayed for the concert and supported the other ensembles. “This was my first concert because I’m a freshman,” said Amanda Dow. “It was an amazing experience to see the band play and watch the drumline again. It was well worth all the hard work.”


The orchestra then performed a moving ballad called “Irish Legend”, where senior Tony Kim and freshman Felix Shen were featured. Both Kim and Shen are incredibly accomplished violinists, being members of prestigious orchestras and winning national competitions. Mr. Everts then presented awards to Kim and viola player Thomas Lim for being outstanding members of the orchestra.


The orchestra later joined forces with the wind ensemble to perform “Hoedown” by Aaron Copeland. This uplifting piece featured senior Matt Rosefield, a trumpet player who also played the solo in the fall field show.


The audience was particularly excited to hear the band perform “Mirror Image”, their field show for next season. Sophomore Noah Villanueva, the incoming drum major for the band, conducted the first third of the piece. After the concert ended, he said, “I’m so excited for next year! I have no doubts that we are going to do amazing.”


Sophomore flutist Hallie Neff shared similar sentiments, exclaiming, “Our field show next season is going to be awesome!”


The concert band and wind ensemble then performed “Africa”, a unique tribute to the continent and its cultural music. The piece began with impactful brass– centered chords and then progresses to a section featuring a variety of percussion instruments. The ballad was based on a Ghanaian hymn and featured the piccolos and the first clarinets. The piece ended with an exciting rhythmic section and the same chords as before – creating a dramatic ending suited to the action of the piece.


As per tradition, the flute section performed a song for their senior members: Jessica Shipps, Myra Awan, and Kaavya Shah. This year, it was “Your Song” by Elton John. Sophomore flutist Claire Rosefield arranged the music, and the entire section learned the music in order to thank the graduating seniors. After the concert, Rosefield exclaimed, “It felt great to conclude the year with such a successful concert!”


Senior Myra Awan loved the surprise that her section put on for her and the other seniors, calling it “a fun and memorable time which [she] will cherish forever.”


Junior Vade Shah, junior Greg Merz, and sophomore Sam Smith also performed a medley of pieces from their three years together for their seniors, Ishan Saha and Ryan Brassea. All five of these musicians were members of the jazz band, where they bonded, practiced, performed, and earned many accolades. Both Saha and Brassea enjoyed this special surprise from the juniors (and sophomore) that they loved so much.


The band then concluded with the playing of “Redwoods”, an epic piece that could literally come from a movie score. Full of advanced woodwind runs and beautiful brass sections, the piece was a crowd stunner. In fact, the piece was performed in Chicago by the concert band three years ago, and many of the seniors remembered and adored this piece. It brought back memories for everyone – Mr. Everts and his students included.


Ultimately, the concert was emotional and touching to everyone who watched it and participated in it. As junior and incoming band president Jenelle Barbier put it, “It’s sad to say that it will be the final concert with our beloved seniors and our music teacher, Mr. Everts. As always, our preparation with the music definitely paid off and was displayed at our concert. I couldn’t be more proud of each band member’s effort and time that was dedicated toward our program not only for the concert but the entire year. It was great to see so many students from other music departments but also from leadership at the concert to support the band. I believe the band finished the year with a beautiful concert and I can’t wait to see what next year is going to bring the Dublin Irish Guard.”