The Last POPS Assembly of the Year


Amish Jha, Staff Writer

The Pops Assembly had three very successful performances on May 19. The performances consisted of choir, wind ensemble, and symphony orchestra at Arcadia High School’s (AHS) Performing Arts Center (PAC), and showcased songs ranging from popular music and game soundtracks to movie background scores. 

Members of the various musical ensembles worked relentlessly to prepare for the assembly.  Each of the groups had their own paid concert-performances the week prior to the all-school assembly. The preparation for that and the POPS concert had been done at the same time. Even with all the time and effort to prepare, there were many issues the musicians had to overcome. 

“Every day we would practice during the period, going over intonation, dynamics, and overall mood of the piece. We needed to be prepared for anything. We had to know how to play as an orchestra even without a conductor, as we were preparing to have a guest conductor during the show” stated senior orchestra member Angela Ying.

The music in the all-school concert was the same from the previous concerts that had been going on, but since each group had a much reduced time to perform, a lot of editing had to be made. 

“We had to figure out where to cut the music. For Orchestra, we had to make cuts to Zelda and Elvis in the middle of the song. Since it is a medley, it seemed almost seamless,” said Orchestra director Ms. Pin Chen.

 Along with the shortening of the music, the musical groups also had to pick smaller sub groups from their organizations. Band had wind ensemble, Choir had only around 15 Chanteurs, and Orchestra only had their symphony division. 

“We had to figure out the order. It really is a combination of effort from orchestra, band, choir, and even stagecraft. Stagecraft manages the lighting, and where all the equipment has to go. It is a lot of effort,” said Ms. Chen.

Even though it looked and sounded extremely beautiful, there were internal issues that the groups didn’t let us notice. 

“During the Zelda piece in one of the assemblies, the piano had no sound at the start. This threw off the entire orchestra, but we got it back together. But the Elvis Presley song went really great; it was one of those songs I wanted to show off. The hand motions that Ms. Chen made us do during the third song was my favorite part. At first it was something embarrassing, but it was just the sprinkle on top and completed the concert,” said Ying.

AHS students found the concert to be beautiful and something they needed during these last few weeks of school. 

“It was incredibly melodious and soothing, the perfect part to the already beautiful Friday,” stated senior Nicolas Choy, right after the concert.

Choir had their own effort and opposition they had to maintain. “Lots of memorization for the choreography; we spent days and nights learning all the dances for the songs. And we had to memorize our pitches for our sections too. The main thing that went wrong in our performance was our sound. We were trying to save our voices for the concert we had that day and our choir night cafe, but I would say we could’ve been louder. We were definitely successful in our choreography. Even if we made a slight mistake, we were quick to fix it and continue our show,” stated Choir Chanteur Moses Fregoso.

“I believe each and every assembly got better. The best show was easily the last one; it was perfected. But we are still very happy with how the students performed,” stated Ms. Chen.

Congratulations Choir, Orchestra, and Band on their wonderful performances! 

Photo by Sarah Wang